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date: 31 October 2020

Venetic languagelocked

  • Michel Lejeune

Extract

The *Veneti(2) learnt to write from the *Etruscans during the 6th cent. bce and some 250 to 300 inscriptions survive, mostly votive or funerary, nearly all quite short (only one has more than ten words); these texts range from the last quarter of the 6th to the last quarter of the 2nd cent. bce. With the onset of Romanization, some texts were written in the native language but in the Latin alphabet. The Venetic script has two noteworthy features: different signs for t and d in each Venetic city; on the other hand, generalization to all regions, from the 5th cent. bce onwards, of a system of syllabic punctuation that involved bracketing with dots any syllable-initial vowel and any consonant that closed a syllable (e.g. . e .g o, dona . s . t o).Examples of texts (with punctuation omitted): mego doto vhugsiia votna…reitiiai op voltiio leno (‘Fuxia, wife of Voto, gave me to…[the goddess] Reitia by act of spontaneous will’); osts katusiaiios donasto, atra es termonios deivos (‘Osts, son of Katusios, offered [this precinct], entrance [allowed only] up to the Boundary Gods’); (in the Latin alphabet) enoni ontei appioi sselboisselboi andeticobos ecupetaris (‘grave of Ennonios for Onts, for Appios and for himself, [all three] sons of Andetios’); kellos pittamnikos toler trumusijatei donom (‘Kellos son of Pittamnos brought a gift to [the goddess] Trumusiatis’).

Subjects

  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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