Edward Sapir > Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech > Subject Index > Page 225
Edward Sapir (1884–1939).  Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech.  1921.

Page 225
population of central and southern Germany 4 is markedly distinct.
  But what if we ignore these finer distinctions and simply assume that the “Teutonic” or Baltic or North European racial type coincided in its distribution with that of the Germanic languages? Are we not on safe ground then? No, we are now in hotter water than ever. First of all, the mass of the German-speaking population (central and southern Germany, German Switzerland, German Austria) do not belong to the tall, blond-haired, long-headed 5 “Teutonic” race at all, but to the shorter, darker-complexioned, short-headed 6 Alpine race, of which the central population of France, the French Swiss, and many of the western and northern Slavs (e.g., Bohemians and Poles) are equally good representatives. The distribution of these “Alpine” populations corresponds in part to that of the old continental “Celts,” whose language has everywhere given way to Italic, Germanic, and Slavic pressure. We shall do well to avoid speaking of a “Celtic race,” but if we were driven to give the term a content, it would probably be more appropriate to apply it to, roughly, the western portion of the Alpine peoples then to the two island types that I referred to before. These latter were certainly “Celticized,” in speech and, partly, in blood, precisely as, centuries later, most of England and part of Scotland was “Teutonized” by the Angles and Saxons. Linguistically speaking, the “Celts” of to-day (Irish Gaelic, Manx, Scotch Gaelic, Welsh, Breton) are
Note 4.  The High German now spoken in northern Germany is not of great age, but is due to the spread of standardized German, based on Upper Saxon, a High German dialect, at the expense of “Plattdeutsch.” [back]
Note 5.  “Dolichocephalic.” [back]
Note 6.  “Brachycephalic.” [back]


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