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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the language of the Picts, who inhabited Scotland and the neighboring islands until approximately the ninth century A.D.It was displaced by Scottish Gaelic and the Germanic languages. Information on Pictish is based in part on numerous undeciphered inscriptions from Scotland and the Shetland and Orkney Islands, usually written in the oghamic alphabet and sometimes in the Latin alphabet. It is also based on Scottish toponyms and Pictish names recorded in ancient and medieval sources. Some researchers regard Pictish as a Celtic language with pre-Indo-European substratum elements, classifying it with either the Gaulish-Brythonic subgroup (P-Celtic languages) or the Goidelic subgroup (Q-Celtic languages). However, neither variant of the Celtic hypothesis explains the Pictish inscriptions; the words ccrroscc (“cross”) and maqq ~ meqq (“son”) are clearly of Goidelic origin and may be borrowings from Old Irish. Other linguists find no basis for relating Pictish to the Indo-European languages. Among Pictish proper nouns there are words of Celtic origin, which may be borrowings, and words of presumed pre-Indo-European origin. Pictish inscriptions contain many double consonants in all positions, with a typical inscription reading ETTOCUHETTS AHEHHT-TANNN HCCVVEVV NEHHTONS. This apparently points to a phonological opposition, perhaps of strong and weak consonants, not in Irish and not able to be represented by the usual means of the oghamic alphabet.


The Problem of the Picts. Edited by F. T. Wainwright. New York, 1956.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Fifteen years on, Eric is one of Scotland's top treasure hunters and has unearthed an incredible haul of historically important items - including Roman coins, an engraved brooch dating back to the 1700s and a mount from a Pictish hanging bowl.
The drawings in the caves depict Pictish symbols, early Christian imagery and Viking representations.
Since the stone was ploughed up 30 years ago archaeologists have discovered a Pictish royal palace on the edge of the village, a discovery that has attracted worldwide interest - and visitors.
The find, by experts at Aberdeen and Chester universities, is one of the first ever made of Pictish remains in the north-east.
ST NINIAN'S TREASURE Pictish bowls, weapons and jewellery which were discovered in a box in St Ninian's Isle, Shetland, in 1958.
The village celebrates according to the old Julian calendar, with January 11 marking the start of the Pictish new year.
It's claimed that Pilate's father, a Roman officer, was sent north on a mission of peace to the Pictish King Metellanus, whose seat was at Dun Gael.
As well as Pictish warriors and naughty cartoon characters, the story of Scotch whisky will also be told.
KC's Fence Collective cohort Pictish Trail (Johnny Lynch) joined for a finale of tunes and friendly banter between the two pals.
Lewis is the largest of the islands, and is bursting with world-famous archaeological sites, from the neolithic Calanais stones, which predate the Egyptian Pyramids, to the Pictish Carloway Broch, the Norse mill house.
Elsewhere, Emma Pollock played a rich, atmospheric set in support of her new album The Law of Large Numbers at the Hew Scott Hall, while Lynch let us hear the fruits of his attempt to write a hundred songs in a hundred days under his Pictish Trail alias (he failed, only writing 50, but the bits we heard were pretty good).
Pictish Throne Exhibition, Brodie Castle, Moray, from April 1 to October 31.