What is the Italo-Celtic language?
- In historical linguistics, Italo-Celtic is a grouping of the Italic and Celtic branches of the Indo-European language family on the basis of features shared by these two branches and no others.
An alternative theory, suggested by Eric P. Hamp, is that Phrygian was most closely related to Italo-Celtic languages. Inscriptions. The Phrygian epigraphical material is divided into two distinct subcorpora, Old Phrygian and New Phrygian. These attest different stages of the Phrygian language; are written with different alphabets and upon ...
t. e. In historical linguistics, Italo-Celtic is a hypothetical grouping of the Italic and Celtic branches of the Indo-European language family on the basis of features shared by these two branches and no others. There is controversy about the causes of these similarities.
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What is the Italo-Celtic language?
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When did the Celtic and Italic languages come into contact?
What language did the Phrygians speak?
- Discovery and Decipherment
- Phrygian Poetry
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Ancient authors like Herodotus and Hesychius have provided us with a few dozen words assumed to be Phrygian, so-called glosses. In modern times the first monument with a Phrygian text, found at Ortaköy (classical Orcistus), was described in 1752. In 1800 at Yazılıkaya (classical Nakoleia) two more inscriptions were discovered. On one of them the word ΜΙΔΑΙ, 'to Midas', could be read, which prompted the idea that they were part of a building, possibly the grave, of the legendary Phrygian king Midas. Later, when Western Orientalists and Bible scholars began to travel through Anatolia to become acquainted with the geographical background of Homer's world and the New Testament, more monuments were discovered. By 1862 sixteen Phrygian inscriptions were known, among them a few Greek-Phrygian bilinguals. This allowed German scholar Andreas David Mordtmann to undertake the first serious attempt to decipher the script, though he overstressed the parallels of Phrygian to Armenian, which led t...
Phrygian is a member of the Indo-European linguistic family, but because of the fragmentary evidence, its exact position within that family is uncertain. Phrygian shares important features with Greek and Armenian. Between the 19th and the first half of the 20th century Phrygian was mostly considered a satəm language, and thus closer to Armenian and Thracian, while today it is commonly considered to be a centum language and thus closer to Greek. The reason that in the past Phrygian had the guise of a satəm language was due to two secondary processes that affected it. Namely, Phrygian merged the old labiovelar with the plain velar, and secondly, when in contact with palatal vowels /e/ and /i/, especially in initial position, some consonants became palatalized. Furthermore, Kortlandt (1988) presented common sound changes of Thracian and Armenian and their separation from Phrygian and the rest of the palaeo-Balkan languagesfrom an early stage. Modern consensus views Greek as the closest...
The Phrygian epigraphical material is divided into two distinct subcorpora, Old Phrygian and New Phrygian. These attest different stages of the Phrygian language; are written with different alphabets and upon different materials; and have different geographical distributions. Old Phrygian is attested in 395 inscriptions in Anatolia and beyond. They were written in the Phrygian alphabet between 800 and 330 BCE. The Corpus des inscriptions paléo-phrygiennes (CIPPh) and its supplements contain most known Old Phrygian inscriptions, though a few graffiti are not included. The oldest inscriptions - mid-8th century BCE - have been found on silver, bronze, and alabaster objects in tumuli (grave mounds) at Gordion (Yassıhüyük, the so-called "Midas Mound") and Bayındır (East Lycia). New Phrygian is attested in 117 funerary inscriptions, mostly curses against desecrators added after a Greek epitaph. New Phrygian was written in the Greek alphabet between the 1st and 3rd centuries CE and is rest...
From ca. 800 till 300 BCE Phrygians used the Old-Phrygian alphabet of nineteen letters derived from the Phoenician alphabet. This script was usually written from left to right ("dextroverse"). The signs of this script are: About 15 percent of the inscriptions are written from right to left ("sinistroverse"), like Phoenician; in those cases the signs are drawn mirrored: ... etc. instead of BΓ.... A few dozen inscriptions are written in alternating directions (boustrophedon). From ca. 300 BCE this script was replaced by the Greek alphabet. A single inscription dates from ca. 300 BCE (sometimes called "Middle-Phrygian"), all other texts are much later, from the 1st till 3rd centuries CE (New-Phrygian). The Greek letters Θ, Ξ, Φ, Χ, and Ψ were rarely used — mainly for Greek names and loanwords (Κλευμαχοι, to Kleomakhos; θαλαμει, funerary chamber).
It has long been claimed that Phrygian exhibits a sound change of stop consonants, similar to Grimm's Law in Germanic and, more to the point, sound laws found in Proto-Armenian; i.e., voicing of PIE aspirates, devoicing of PIE voiced stops and aspiration of voiceless stops. This hypothesis was rejected by Lejeune (1979) and Brixhe (1984) but revived by Lubotsky (2004) and Woodhouse (2006), who argue that there is evidence of a partial shift of obstruent series; i.e., voicing of PIE aspirates (*bʱ > b) and devoicing of PIE voiced stops (*d > t). The affricates ts and dz may have developed from velars before front vowels.
The grammatical structure of Phrygian, what can be recovered of it, was typically Indo-European. Declensions and verbal conjugations are strikingly similar to ancient Greek.
Phrygian is attested fragmentarily, known only from a comparatively small corpus of inscriptions. A few hundred Phrygian words are attested; however, the meaning and etymologies of many of these remain unknown. A famous Phrygian word is bekos, meaning 'bread'. According to Herodotus (Histories 2.2) Pharaoh Psammetichus I wanted to determine the oldest nation and establish the world's original language. For this purpose, he ordered two children to be reared by a shepherd, forbidding him to let them hear a single word, and charging him to report the children's first utterance. After two years, the shepherd reported that on entering their chamber, the children came up to him, extending their hands, calling bekos. Upon enquiry, the pharaoh discovered that this was the Phrygian word for 'wheat bread', after which the Egyptians conceded that the Phrygian nation was older than theirs. The word bekos is also attested several times in Palaeo-Phrygian inscriptions on funerary stelae. It may b...
Phrygian poetry is rare. The only examples date from after Alexander the Great's conquest of Asia Minor (334 BCE), and they probably originated in imitation of Greek metrical epitaphs. The clearest example is the so-called "Middle Phrygian" inscription mentioned above, which consists of six dactylic hexameter lines. Also, as Lubotsky has proposed, the traditional Phrygian damnation formula on grave monuments may have been slightly reformulated to fit into a two-line hexametric shape (the stress accents, or ictus, on the first syllable of each dactylusare in boldface): 1. ιος νι σε μουν κνουμα νει κακουν αδδακετ αινι τε αμας 2. με ζεμε λως κε δε ως κε Τι η τιτε τικμενος ειτου. 2.1. Whoever to this tomb harm does, or to the grave, 2.2. among humans and gods by Zeus accursed let him be. Alliteration ('b-, b-, b-') may be intended in a peculiar clause found on two New-Phrygian grave monuments from Erten (near Yazılıkaya) and Güney: 1. [ If someone damages this grave, then...] 2. ... Βας...Mallory, James P.; Adams, Douglas Q. (2006). The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-929668-2.Obrador-Cursach, Bartomeu (2018). Lexicon of the Phrygian Inscriptions (PDF). University of Barcelona - Faculty of Philology - Department of Classical, Romance and Semitic Philology.Obrador-Cursach, Bartomeu (9 April 2020). "On the place of Phrygian among the Indo-European languages". Journal of Language Relationship. 17 (3–4). doi:10.31826/jlr-2019-173-407. S2CID 215769896.Woodhouse, Robert (2009). "An overview of research on Phrygian from the nineteenth century to the present day". Studia Linguistica Universitatis Iagellonicae Cracoviensis. 126 (1). ISSN 2083-4624.
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- Further Reading
The traditional interpretation of the data is, that these two subgroups of the Indo-European language family are generally more closely related to each other, than to the other Indo-European languages. This can be taken to imply that they are descended from a common ancestor, a phylogenetic Proto-Italo-Celtic which can be partly reconstructed by the comparative method. Those scholars who believe Proto-Italo-Celtic was an identifiable historical language usually estimate that it was spoken in the third or second millennium BC somewhere in south-central Europe. This hypothesis fell out of favour after being reexamined by Calvert Watkins in 1966. However some scholars, such as Frederik Kortlandt, continued to be interested in the theory. In 2002 a paper by Ringe, Warnow, and Taylor, employing computational methods as a supplement to the traditional linguistic subgrouping methodology, argued in favour of an Italo-Celtic subgroup,and in 2007 Kortlandt attempted a reconst...
The principal Italo-Celtic forms are: 1. the thematic genitive in ī (dominus, dominī). Both in Italic (Popliosio Valesiosio, Lapis Satricanus) and in Celtic (Lepontic, Celtiberian -o), traces of the -osyo genitive of Proto-Indo-European have also been discovered, which might indicate that the spread of the ī genitive occurred in the two groups independently (or by areal diffusion). The ī genitive has been compared to the so-called Cvi formation in Sanskrit, but that too is probably a comparatively late development. The phenomenon is probably related to the feminine long ī stems (see Devi inflection) and the Luwian i-mutation. 2. the formation of superlatives with reflexes of the PIE suffix *-ism̥mo (Latin fortis, fortissimus "strong, strongest", Old Irish sen, sinem "old, oldest", Oscan mais, maimas "more, most"), where branches outside Italic and Celtic derive superlatives with reflexes of PIE *-isto- instead (Sanskrit urús, váriṣṭhas "broad, broadest", Greek καλός, κάλλιστος "beau...Jay Jasanoff, "An Italo-Celtic isogloss: the 3 pl. mediopassive in *-ntro," in D. Q. Adams (ed.), Festschrift for Eric P. Hamp. Volume I (= Journal of Indo-European Studies Monograph 23)(Washington...Frederik Kortlandt, Italo-Celtic Origins and Prehistoric Development of the Irish Language. Leiden: Rodopi, 2007, ISBN 9789042021778.Winfred P. Lehmann, "Early Celtic among the Indo-European dialects", in Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 49-50, Issue 1(1997): 440-54.
154 Italo-Celtic origins and prehistoric development of the Irish language The account given here differs from Meiser’s (2003: 55) in the following respects. There is no reason to assume a long vowel subjunctive or thematic optative in Italo-Celtic.
Mar 24, 2021 · The language of the Yamnaya Culture was the southern dialect of Proto-Indo-European from which the Celtic, Italo-Illyric and Greco-Phrygian languages developed. As for the northern dialect of Proto-Indo-European, this was probably the language of the Comb Ceramic (or Pit-Comb Ware) Culture.