Public Lecture: "Celtic Languages in Historical and Contemporary Perspective"

10/13/2015 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
J.F. Hardymon Theater (Davis Marksbury Building)
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Dr. Kevin Rottet (Indiana University)
Type of Event (for grouping events):

From the mystique of the Arthurian Romances with its knights, swords and Camelot, to the scenes of contemporary Neo-Druids holding their white-robed ceremonies at Stonehenge, or the macabre images of the Wicker man, burning to propitiate the ancient gods, the Celts have about them an aura of the mysterious, the romantic, the sinister. Even among linguists the Celtic languages have something of a reputation for being "exotic" with their strange word orders and initial consonant mutations. Yet the current social status and future prospects of the Celtic languages are far less romantic and exotic, for indeed, like many or even most of the minority languages of the planet, the Celtic languages are all endangered, to one degree or another, as their speakers embrace a present and future that looks more successful through the lens of English or French. In this talk we will explore some of this ground together, from the record of the Celts in Antiquity to the current position of their languages as endangered languages of western Europe.