What Made the Anglo-Saxons Capable of Conquering the Britons?

Aug 2013
4,673
Europe
The POBI study was on males only

The 'huge spreads' in the % are by region.
The POBI study were samples taken from modern male rural populations whose ancestors were known to be from their region. So if someone was from Norfolk they might have 35% A-S heritage. If someone was from Staffordshire they might have 20% A-S heritage. This is not from the study, I'm just using it as an example of a hypothetical % spread because you would expect more A-S in some parts of England than in others
 
Aug 2013
4,673
Europe
Years ago I attempted to fill in the form for POBI study for a male relative. We did it because we thought it was a chance to get the person a free DNA test. The study was being advertised on all the major genealogy forums and on other sites. It was around the same time as the English Romany Gypsy study, or even before that.

The POBI form was very detailed but this particular relative was not classed as local enough by his ancestry anyway. You had to have all 8 Great Grandparents from the area I think? and you had to be born within a certain radius of that area. But I tried a few times, so do I remember how detailed the questionnaire was. Only a small percent filling it in must have qualified beyond the form, because a lot must have tried it and given up on the first page.
A free DNA test is big draw for anyone interested in family research
 
Aug 2011
5,018
But equally, the displacement models do not sit well with the data from other disciplines
That was my point. Each model potentially explains one or more parts of the picture but fails to explain other parts and is sometimes contradicted by it.


As Tristram put it, those (like Coates) who see the lack of Brittonic loan words in Old English as evidence of a lack of Britons in Anglo-Saxon England are “simply uninformed about the mechanisms of language shift" (Hildegard Tristram, ‘Why Don’t the English Speak Welsh?’ in ed. N. J. Higham, Britons in Anglo-Saxon England, (Woodbridge, 2007), 196-198).

As Brittonic was a low status language, Brittonic influence would be a substrate influence which does not take the form of loan words.
But it is not just loanwords. Far from it. It is precisely the lack of a brittonic substrate that Coates talks about.

My question to Elizabeth Pyatt:

Are there any examples of a celtic substrate in old english or do we first see this in middle english dialects?

Elizabeth Pyatt:

One of the interesting debates in the history of English is that we do
NOT see more Celtic substrate effects. There are some Celtic
vocabulary words in Old English (and there were actually more earlier
rather than later), but that's about all that can be documented.


Tristram's work however is based on celtic substrate effects in middle english and she back projects them half a millenium and more into old english, but there is nothing to demonstrate that they did exist at that time. Coates points this out along with Pyatt.

For anyone who is interested in exploring it further, the following publications may be of interest:-

1. ed. Markku Filppula et al, The Celtic Roots of English, Joensuu, 2002 (book comprising a number of peer reviewed articles)
This is part of the Potsdam 'Celtic Englishes' Project where modern english as spoken by the irish, welsh, cornish, scots etc. The way they speak english can sound a little odd to the english, or quaint or old fashioned. Examples by Klemola on use of personal pronouns in the South West:

(1) Then you'd press en down again,
you see,
and let en bide for two days.
Well,
press en down.
Keep on pressing en.
And then you uh # take en out and give en to the cows out in the field. (So3:Somerset Wedmore)

(2) So farmer # Salisbury say +…
come to we,
"Want some grass cut up there?”
(So11: Somerset, Horsington)

(3) "I know what we'll do.
# We'll get a brick,
and chuck him up in the air,
and if he do come down,
we got to # go to work,
and if he stop up there,”
he said,
"we got to have a day off.”
(So1:Somerset,Weston)

Klemola notes:

In example (1) we find the typical south-western use of en /n/ as a 3rd person singular oblique form, (2) exemplifies the phenomenon sometimes referred to as 'pronoun exchange' – the reversal of subjective and objective forms of the pronoun, and in (3) we find an example of the south-western use of 3rd person singular masculine pronoun he/him referring to inanimate objects.

In this paper I will discuss the linguistic characteristics, geographical distribution, and history of these features of the personal pronouns in the South West of England. The paper will also address the question of whether these characteristics of the personal pronouns in south-western dialects could be due to a Celtic substratum.


But it is not sure whether these are substratum effects, "whether these characteristics of the personal pronouns in south-western dialects could be due to a Celtic substratum"
nor, even if they are, is any date attributable to them.

Coates is being accurate when he writes "No-one, to my knowledge, has demonstrated conclusively that Brittonic had an impact on English grammar." He does agree with the data, but he attributes it to contact over a much longer period: " In the longer term, the Celtic languages have certainly had deeper effects, it has been argued, on the development of both dialect and the standard language - for England itself see especially the papers by White and Klemola in Filppula et al. (2002), and Tristram (1999)"
 
Aug 2011
5,018
The POBI study was on males only
Sorry but the data collected by the PoBI study and published in theLeslie et al study in March 2015 was across the entire genome for both sexes. It is neither an exclusive yDNA study nor an exclusive mtDNA study. It's why both Leslie et al and the PoBI from which they obtain their data refer only to 'individuals'. PoBI obtained about 4600 samples from all around the UK and the Leslie study investigated a subset:

"Our analyses use 2,039 PoBI samples from rural areas within the UK, genotyped as part of WTCCC2, who had all four grandparents born within 80 kilometres of each other. We thus effectively sample DNA from the grandparents. "

These were compared with about 6,200 samples from the continent. PoBI did undertake a surname study in 2012, using the same sample sets. This was a control study to investigate surnames as a proxy for paternal lineage ie does Jansen mean norse ancestry and Johnson mean anglo saxon ancestry?

The importance of looking at the y chromosome only and then comparing the results with data from the entire genome was explained by the PoBI back in 2006. Depending on what you look at, you get different results. For example, looking at the samples taken early on from Orkney shows:

Y-Chr
Celtic 45% - Norse 55%

Other Markers
Celtic 67% - Norse 33%

You can see how the majority switches from one to the other. In fact, when we get to 2015, more samples and new markers, we find 3 distinct populations which they term Westray, Orkney1 and Orkney 2. In the UK there were 17 distinct populations. However, they are still pretty close to each other. If you look hard enough you can distinguish between two siblings born to the same parents. These results only show the modern population and do not explain why those results are what they are.
 
Aug 2011
5,018
Years ago I attempted to fill in the form for POBI study for a male relative. ....

A free DNA test is big draw for anyone interested in family research
Indeed, I thought about it myself but, the main objective was funding for the NHS, not family historians. The Wellcome Trust wanted a control set of a large number of genes, around 600,000 markers, to see if there was regional variation. They then wanted to see if any of these regions were particularly susceptible to certain genetic diseases. If one part of the country was more likely to have one type of disease, then they would get an increased portion of funding to treat it. The ancestry thing was to generate public interest in order to get them to donate samples. It was largely undertaken by Leicester and Nottingham universities, so it's an offshoot. Their most interesting work was a [then] novel way of using surnames a a proxy for medieval populations in Excavating Past Population Structures by Surname-Based Sampling: The Genetic Legacy of the Vikings in Northwest England. It tested the idea of using surnames in modern mixed populations after the start of the industrial era with surnames which existed in medieval manorial roles and ecclesiastic documents et and see if a medieval proxy could be created against which even older ancestry could be tested. It had some surprisingly accurate results.
 
Nov 2008
1,278
England
What do we mean by Bronze Age economy? No money, no specialized craftsmen, almost everyone produced what they needed for themselves without traders or merchants distributing surplus production, little if any taxation in the modern sense of the word. Any other characteristics of a Bronze Age economy?
I will quote what Ward-Perkins actually wrote: "….Britain reverted to a level of economic simplicity similar to that of the Bronze Age, with no coinage, and only hand-shaped pots and wooden buildings."

If you can borrow the book from a library, or purchase the book, it would be worthwhile.
 
Nov 2008
1,278
England
I accept that you make a good point, but the issue here is not that these laws existed, but the related assumptions that:-

1) They must always have existed and only become visible in the time of Ine; and
2) The same sort of thing had to be going on outside Wessex too; and
3) They operated so as to deliberately hinder acculturation or social movement.
A paper written by the Australian academic, Martin Grimmer, is interesting regarding these laws pertaining to the Britons in Wessex, and also the points you raise.

Britons and Saxons In Pre-Viking Wessex: Reflection on the Law 77 of King Ine

It may still be available at Researchgate.
 
Likes: Peter Graham
Are 10 samples enough?
Probably not but the number of available samples is growing very fast, and in few years from now, such comparisons will be possible based on hundreds of samples, so probably the estimates of ancestry from various migrations will be revised. Here is a good map which gives you some idea (although most of the samples available to date are Bronze Age):

Ancient Human DNA - uMap

BTW, I think these five Late/Middle Bronze Age Scottish people were already Celtic-speakers, so they can be used as a proxy for Insular Celts too:

The four LBA Scottish people are I3130, I2859, I2860, I2861. And I2655 is a person from Hebrides older than 1000 BC (light green dot in the map):



^^^
Maps showing the genetic similarity of two of these LBA Scottish samples to modern populations based on frequencies of K=36 components:

This individual was most similar to modern Irish (especially Ulster) and then to Celtic British groups:



This Hebrides individual had stronger similarity to continental populations than the individual above:

 
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Aug 2011
5,018
Probably not but the number of available samples is growing very fast, and in few years from now, such comparisons will be possible based on hundreds of samples, so probably the estimates of ancestry from various migrations will be revised. Here is a good map which gives you some idea (although most of the samples available to date are Bronze Age):

Ancient Human DNA - uMap

Your 4 samples simply show that indo european speakers had arrived in Scotland by that time. We don't know what language they spoke. The only conclusion you can draw is that the two males were indo europeans who arrived on the cusp of the bell beaker period and early bronze age. We don't know if the two females came with them or if they were in Britain 1000 years before.