I'm curious about the accents from England about whether its more Germanic or more Celtic because since English come from the Angles,who were Germanic,the accents has to have more Germanic phonetic sounds infused in the language.

  • What makes you think that an accent (as opposed to a language) can be either Germanic or Celtic? – Tim Lymington supports Monica Jul 21 '15 at 16:22
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    What about Norman French and the Language spoken by Romanized Britons before 1066? – Centaurus Jul 21 '15 at 16:23
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    There is a story told of a German standing in a tram queue in Leeds (Yorkshire). A tram is arriving, and one of the Yorkshire people says ere comt tram. The German thought he had a fellow German in the queue. – WS2 Jul 21 '15 at 16:36
  • I heard that in 1945 the US government shipped food to Germany in packaging stamped "Gift of the United States." – deadrat Jul 22 '15 at 5:03
  • @deadrat Your point being? – WS2 Jul 22 '15 at 7:54

While it's possible that you might find some such connection, I very much doubt it, for two reasons.

First, while there were undoubtedly dialects in earlier forms of the language, few of the details of modern pronunciation can go back beyond the Great Vowel Shift in the 15-17th centuries.

Secondly, there is remarkably little evidence of Celtic influence on English, except perhaps in Ireland. Even in Scotland and Wales, there is little grammatical influence, but just a set of borrowed words.

If you had distinguished West from North Germanic (i.e. Anglo-Saxon from Norse) rather than bringing in Celtic, that would be more convincing. While I still doubt that very much in the way of pronunciation difference stems from that division, there is certainly plenty of Norse-derived vocabulary in the North.

  • You've perhaps never read Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, in which John McWhorter makes a very strong case for substantial and fundamental Celtic influence on modern English grammar. The major piece of evidence is the do auxiliary, which is seen in Celtic languages, but in no Germanic language apart from English. – phoog Jul 21 '15 at 17:53
  • @phoog Or rather, be/do/get/stop-support is found in Welsh and Cornish (and probably in at least some other erstwhile British languages the details of whose verbal systems I am unfamiliar with—but notably not in Breton). They’re not seen in any other branch of Celtic languages, and their spread and generalisation in Welsh and Cornish is not significantly earlier than their appearance in English. The British languages may play a part in the rise of do-support in English, but they’re hardly the only explanation—and to my knowledge, how they got it remains unexplained. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 21 '15 at 19:47

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