Re: Extinction of Gallic Language (was: Indo-European Studies)

Ferret (
Wed, 12 Jul 1995 20:13:15 GMT

In article <> (Gerold Firl) writes:

>I am wondering about the extinction of the gallic language. Any ideas on
>why it disappeared? I find it hard to believe that large numbers of
>latin-speaking settlers moved to gaul during the roman occupation, relative
>to the celtic population which lived there before, yet by 400 ad, celtic
>appears to have already been supplanted by latin. Why?

Gaul had been latinized between 1 and 400 AD. The native language (what ever
it was) was supplanted by provencial Latin which later evolved into modern
French. As much as the Celtic and Italic languages are closely related it is
quite possibly that the Latin form was easily adopted. When the Franks
arrived (and stayed) they appear to have adopted the Latin as well. Much
later in the 10th century the Vikings adopted the French in Normandy with in
a few generations and by 1066 were speaking what we call Norman French.

The question is "Why did the Gauls, Franks and Normans drop their languages
in favor of Latin/French ?" The curious part is that very few outside
languages influenced French, it is an almost isolated evolution of
Provencial Latin.