Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2014

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Classics

First Advisor

Andrew Cain

Abstract

Recent trends in the study of Roman Britain have been exposed to the new study of “stratalinguistics” as a means of tracking and explaining certain linguistic phenomena. Peter Schrijver began this process by suggesting that a heavy Latinization of the lowland zone caused deep phonological changes to Brittonic both in the Roman and the post-Roman period. Schrijver’s stratalinguistics suggest a Latin superstrate in the Roman period and a Latin substrate in the post-Roman period. I will take this conclusion, along with archaeological and literary evidence, and suggest a strong change in the perceptions of power in with the departure of the Roman administration in the early 5th century AD. Rather than the Romans maintaining the perception of economic and social prestige into the fifth century, a new Brittonic tribal power structure would take its place, and ultimately take morphology and syntax from Latin in ways not before thought possible.