The Proto-Celtic language, also called Common Celtic, is the ancestral proto-language of all the known Celtic languages, and a descendant of the Proto-Indo-European language. It is not directly attested in writing, but has been partially reconstructed through the comparative method. Proto-Celtic is generally believed to have been spoken between 1300 and 800 BC, after which it began to evolve into individual Celtic languages. Proto-Celtic is usually associated with the Urnfield or Hallstatt archaeological cultures. Celtic languages share common features with Italic languages that are not found in other branches of Indo-European, suggesting the possibility that an earlier Italo-Celtic linguistic unity may have existed.
|PC, Common Celtic|
|Reconstruction of||Celtic languages|
|Region||Central or Western Europe|
|Era||ca. 1300–800 BC|
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The reconstruction of Proto-Celtic is currently being undertaken, by necessity relying on later iterations of Celtic languages. Although Continental Celtic presents much substantiation for Proto-Celtic phonology, and some for its morphology, recorded material is too scanty to allow a secure reconstruction of syntax, although some complete sentences are recorded in the Continental Gaulish and Celtiberian. Therefore, the primary sources for reconstruction come from the Insular Celtic languages with the oldest literature found in Old Irish and Middle Welsh, dating back to authors flourishing in the 6th century AD.