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IE Language 1, Requirement 1

Compare and contrast the language you have chosen to study and your native language (and any other languages you have studied, if you like). Consider each languages' syntax and grammar, as well as vocabulary matters, such as cognates, derivatives or borrowed words. (minimum 300 words)

The grammar of the Gaulish language is best compared to Latin grammar. In Gaulish, there are seven cases, many of which show up in Latin (and English): vocative, nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, and locative. A primary difference between Latin and Gaulish is the lack of an ablative case, which is replaced by the instrumental case in Gaulish.

For the most part, the system of declension and conjugation is similar between Gaulish and Latin (indeed, the Latin scholar will have no trouble figuring out the ways in which the Gaulish language works). The syntactical process of Gaulish is also similar to Latin, generally ending a sentence with the verb of the sentence. The syntax and grammar were close enough between Gaulish and Latin that Gaulish all but disappeared after occupation by the Romans.

As far as vocabulary goes, the Gaulish language and Latin are, again, very similar. Some simple cognates include Gaulish rix and Latin rex, both of which mean "king"; also Gaulish es and Latin ex, both meaning "out of"; tarvos and tauros meaning "bull"; and more and mare meaning "sea".

The Gauls managed to pass off a few words into Latin or German that later came down to us, including their word for "trousers", which was bracae, which entered Latin as braca and later came to us as "breeches". English also retained (through the German bibar) the word for "beaver", which was beber.

On p. 113 of In Search of the Indo Europeans, we also find the Germans loaning out words like "iron" and "lead", as well as the abstract concepts of "ruler" and "servant". One word that certainly comes to us through a Celtic-Germanic pipeline was the word "soap" (Gaulish sopa), which never entered Latin because the Romans never used it (instead, olive oil was used in place of soap).


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