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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2004 (July-September) » Archive through August 22, 2004 » Berber and Egyptian traces in Irish « Previous Next »

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(Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 82.69.43.131
Posted on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 03:46 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I was leafing thru an Irish history book today Peoples of Ireland by Liam de Paor). I was surprised to see it state that Heinrich Wagner found certain traces of Berber and Ancient Egyptian in the Irish language.

It's sounds like time for my tinfoil hat http://www.stopabductions.com) but Heinrich Wagner was a highly respected scholar.

Does anyone know what he was talking aboutt?

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Jonas
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Username: Jonas

Post Number: 2
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 04:21 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I quite agree. Wagner was indeed very respected and without a doubt one of the best Irish scholars ever. Of course, even the best can be wrong (scholars aren't saints, buíochas le Dia) but his views cannot be dismissed just like that.

The interesting thing is of course to know whether these similarities are just random similarities or whether they are real. Finding similarities in grammar and vocabulary between any two languages is quite easy - it is almost impossible not to find it.

I'm certainly not the one capable of answering this one (I doubt anyone is) but it would be interesting to hear what those traces are.

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Cormac
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Username: Cormac

Post Number: 1
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 06:56 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Archaeologists found the skull of a Barbary Ape at Navan Fort (Emain Mhacha) in Armagh and have dated it to 500BC. While iron age necklaces have been found around lough foyle that may have come from Egypt. So if we can assume there was contact/trade between Ireland and africa back then it's not implausible that they picked up the odd word here and there...?

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OCG (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 82.69.43.131
Posted on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 07:45 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

This book said that these traces were probably picked up from speakers of non-IE languages omewhere in Norther Europe.

There was a footnote which referenced an article by someone called Estyn Evans entitled "Personality of Ireland"

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D (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 213.190.149.122
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 04:56 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I have a learned Berber friend from Kablyia in Algeria-He had heard something about this connection as well! I remember that he was amazed when I told him the Irish word for bread Aran-he said the Berber word was more or less the same!!

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Jonas
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Username: Jonas

Post Number: 4
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 09:25 am:   Edit Post Print Post

That is interesting, but similarities in words prove absolutely nothing untill you have at least some 500-1000 words following the same pattern of phonological development. In fact, it would be a big sensation if there were languages in the world that completely lack any word denoting the same thing with a similar word as in Irish.

Languages typically have about 100.000 words. In most languages rather short words are preferred, limiting the possibilities of individual words.

I'm not saying that there isn't a link between Berber and Irish - it might well be - but even if we would make a list of 100 words being similar in Irish and Berber (or any other language) it wouldn't prove anything.

I recommend the following links:

How likely are chance resemblances between languages
http://www.zompist.com/chance.htm
http://www.zompist.com/chanceph.htm

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Tomás (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 198.22.236.230
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 12:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A few years back, I was watching a documentary on Berbers. They were interviewing one of the Berber lore keepers. In their oral history, he was saying, they have tales of some of their people long, long ago going across the straits of Gibraltar and settling on an island off the coast of Europe. It would be interesting to see if any of this is borne out in the genetic records of the people



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