Iberian Peninsula
Linguistic classificationIndo-European
The Celtiberian Peñalba de Villastar rock inscription[1] says "...TO LVGVEI ARAIANOM..." meaning "...for noble Lug..."[2]
Votive inscription to the Lugoves in Gallaecia: LUCOUBU ARQUIEN(obu) SILONIUS SILO EX VOTO cf.

Hispano-Celtic is a term for all forms of Celtic spoken in the Iberian Peninsula before the arrival of the Romans (c. 218 BC, during the Second Punic War).[3][4] In particular, it includes:

Western Hispano-Celtic continuum hypothesis

Western Hispano-Celtic is a term that has been proposed for a dialect continuum on the western side of the Iberian Peninsula, including Gallaecian in the north, Tartessian in the south (according to Koch, and others in between such as Lusitanian[7] (which has sometimes been labelled "para-Celtic"), west of an imaginary line running north–south between Oviedo and Mérida.[3][8] According to Koch, the Western Celtic varieties of the Iberian Peninsula share with Celtiberian a sufficient core of distinctive features to justify Hispano-Celtic as a term for a linguistic subfamily, as opposed to a purely-geographical classification.[2]: 292  In Naturalis Historia 3.13 (written 77–79 CE), Pliny the Elder says the Celtici of Baetica (now western Andalusia) descended from the Celtiberians of Lusitania since they shared common religions, languages and names for their fortified settlements.[9]

Vettonian-Lusitanian sound changes

As part of the effort to prove the existence of a western Iberian Hispano-Celtic dialect continuum, there have been attempts to differentiate the Vettonian dialect from the neighboring Lusitanian language using the personal names of the Vettones to describe the following sound changes (Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Celtic):[8]: 351 

  1. *perkʷ-u- > ergʷ- in Erguena (see above).
  2. *plab- > lab- in Laboina.
  3. *uper- > ur- in Uralus and Urocius.

Rejection of the Western Hispano-Celtic continuum hypothesis

The Western-Hispano Celtic continuum hypothesis received little support from linguists, who have widely rejected the Celtic interpretation of the Tartessian inscriptions and who generally have regarded Lusitanian as a non-celtic language.[11][12] The more generally accepted non-celtic conclusion of Lusitanian studies has been confirmed by analysis of more recently discovered Lusitanian inscriptions, that clearly show that Lusitanian cannot be a celtic language and in fact approaches the Italic languages.[13][14]

See also


  1. ^ Meid, W. Celtiberian Inscriptions (1994). Budapest: Archaeolingua Alapítvány.
  2. ^ a b c d Koch, John T. (2010). "Chapter 9: Paradigm Shift? Interpreting Tartessian as Celtic". In Cunliffe, Barry; Koch, John T. (eds.). Celtic from the West: Alternative Perspectives from Archaeology, Genetics, Language and Literature. Celtic Studies Publications. Oxford: Oxbow Books. pp. 292–293. ISBN 978-1-84217-410-4. Reissued in 2012 in softcover as ISBN 978-1-84217-475-3.
  3. ^ a b c d Jordán Cólera, Carlos (16 March 2007). "The Celts in the Iberian Peninsula:Celtiberian" (PDF). E-Keltoi. 6: 749–750. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 June 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  4. ^ Koch, John T. (2005). Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 481. ISBN 978-1-85109-440-0.
  5. ^ "In the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, and more specifically between the west and north Atlantic coasts and an imaginary line running north-south linking Oviedo and Merida, there is a corpus of Latin inscriptions with particular characteristics of its own. This corpus contains some linguistic features that are clearly Celtic, and others that in our opinion are not Celtic. The former we shall group, for the moment, under the label northwestern Hispano-Celtic. The latter are the same features found in well-documented contemporary inscriptions in the region occupied by the Lusitanians, and therefore belonging to the variety known as LUSITANIAN, or more broadly as GALLO-LUSITANIAN. As we have already said, we do not consider this variety to belong to the Celtic language family." Jordán Cólera, Carlos (16 March 2007). The Celts in the Iberian Peninsula:Celtiberian (PDF). e-Keltoi 6: 749–750' [1] Archived 24 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Prósper, Blanca María (2002). Lenguas y religiones prerromanas del occidente de la península ibérica. Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca. pp. 422–427. ISBN 84-7800-818-7.
  7. ^ Koch, John T. (2009). "Tartessian: Celtic from the South-west at the Dawn of History" (PDF). Acta Palaeohispanica. 9. Zaragosa, Spain: Institución Fernando el Católico: 339–351. ISSN 1578-5386. Retrieved 17 May 2010.. Journal renamed to Palaeohispanica: Revista sobre lenguas y culturas de la Hispania Antigua. This particular work has also been published in book form, and revised: Koch, John T. (2013) [2009]. Tartessian: Celtic from the South-west at the Dawn of History. Celtic Studies. Vol. 13 (2nd ed.). Aberystwyth: David Brown Publishing.
  8. ^ a b Wodtko, Dagmar S. (2010). "Chapter 11: The Problem of Lusitanian". In Cunliffe, Barry; Koch, John T. (eds.). Celtic from the West: Alternative Perspectives from Archaeology, Genetics, Language and Literature. Celtic Studies Publications. Oxford: Oxbow Books. ISBN 978-1-84217-410-4.: 360–361  Reissued in 2012 in softcover as ISBN 978-1-84217-475-3.
  9. ^ Pliny the Elder. "3.13". Naturalis Historia. Celticos a Celtiberis ex Lusitania advenisse manifestum est sacris, lingua, oppidorum vocabulis, quae cognominibus in Baetica distinguntur. Written 77–79 CE. Quoted in Koch (2010), pp. 292–293. The text is also found in online sources: [2], [3].
  10. ^ Lujan, E. (2007). Lambert, P.-Y.; Pinault, G.-J. (eds.). "L'onomastique des Vettons: analyse linguistique". Gaulois et Celtique Continental (in French). Geneva: Librairie Droz.: 245–275.
  11. ^ Hoz, J. de (28 February 2019), "Method and methods", Palaeohispanic Languages and Epigraphies, Oxford University Press, pp. 1–24, doi:10.1093/oso/9780198790822.003.0001, ISBN 978-0-19-879082-2, retrieved 29 May 2021
  12. ^ Alejandro G. Sinner (ed.), Javier Velaza (ed.), Palaeohispanic Languages and Epigraphies, OUP, 2019: Chapter 11, p.304
  13. ^ Blanca Maria Prósper, The Lusitanian oblique cases revisted: New light on the dative endings, 2021
  14. ^ Eustaquio Sánchez Salor, Julio Esteban Ortega, Un testimonio del dios Labbo en una inscripción lusitana de Plasencia, Cáceres. ¿Labbo también en Cabeço das Fráguas?, 2021