Talk:Etruscan language

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No mention of Mayani?[edit]

I am curious why there is no mention of Zacharie Mayani's suggestions about an Etruscan-Albanian connection, although there is an entry about him in Wikipedia. In spite of Hoxha's use of his work for political purposes, Mayani's suggestions have always seemed to me to have merit - some more believable than others. Jpaulm 18:35, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Mayani's work is crank. Alexander 007 18:41, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
That's pretty blunt! I would be interested in seeing your proof... Jpaulm 18:53, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Hi, Jpaulm. Proof? Proof is simple. We've gotten lazy in the modernday. We assume that it's up to other people to do our own homework. Nope. Save yourself. Here's how. If, for example, Mayani asserts that θuva means "two" because of a connection to a similar Albanian word, then it's up to you the reader to freely question the author's statements. How? By, for example, finding all instances of θuva in all known Etruscan inscriptions for yourself. Remember to include inflected instances of the word (eg: θuveś). Then ask yourself honestly without emotion: "Does this meaning easily make sense in all contexts in which we find the word I'm investigating?". In this example, the answer is no because the true meaning of the θuva seems to more accurately mean "oneself" and related to θu "one". --Glengordon01 04:29, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
I have to agree with Glengordon01. It's not sufficient to simply wave your hand at surface resemblances and say "aha! related". You have to show that the resemblances is systematic. Go and read the article on the comparative method. Lots of languages that look unrelated to other languages (e.g. Armenian to IE langs) can actually be shown by this method to be related. One has to reach a particular threshold of statistical likelihood, as defined by statistically significant chances. Furthermore, one cannot prove a negative: that's why the null hypothesis is that two given languages are NOT related until they can be shown to be so.Trwier 01:07, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
I believe there is a conflation of logic and linguistic reality in the previous statement. It's possible that strictly scientific method can reveal what language is, but that's yet to be proven. In the meantime, we can use other-than-null hypotheses, because something other than "null" is known about language and how all languages work - see Chomsky. There's been a revolution in linguistics that the 19th century approach just sketched by Trwier doesn't fully take into account. That doesn't mean that just any linguistic theory should be entertained, but there's no reason to go with a null hypothesis about language (or carbon dioxide, to make a parallel case - some properties must be said to be known). Once molecules or atoms have been identified (to use Levi-Strauss's metaphor for symbol and language), more can be said. While I find Mayani's work weak in some areas, the type of work done needs to be mentioned. He may be wrong, but the argument above doesn't show that.LeValley 07:16, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
"Crank" or not, it ought to be mentioned. This Albanian connection theory has spawned at least one large book, and there are mentions in the article of many other obsolete and/or "cranky" theories. While I think the Albanian theory is just plain wrong, it ought to be in the article - with the usual comment as to it not being widely accepted. The theory is out there enough that people will wonder why it isn't mentioned here. Documenting its existence as well as its status as a, uhm... non-mainstream view, seems warranted. Murple 08:12, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Dismissing it as "crank" can be called, in turn, merely being "fussy" or, in the vernacular, a "poophead." Calling names establishes nothing. The non-mainstream view should be included.LeValley 07:16, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Obviously I agree with Murple. IMHO Mayani's contribution was to try to match drawings on vases and tombs with their captions. Has anyone else tried this? And yes, I do understand the problem with hapax legomena, but Mayani's book could stimulate more methodical research. Jpaulm 15:27, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
If we can mention Isaac Taylor and Albanian in the article, why can we not mention Mayani? I think we should put him back in, with appropriate caveats.Jpaulm 14:24, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Vowel length[edit]

I have removed the statement implying that vowel length must not have been contrastive in Etruscan because it wasn't indicated in the writing system. Both Latin and Ancient Greek had contrastive vowel length, but neither of them indicated the contrast in their writing system. There is no reason to suppose this couldn't have been the case in Etruscan too. In the absence of any evidence one way or the other, it's best not to mention vowel length at all. —Angr 20:19, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Is it worth mention that this article is hopelessly disorganized?--Poissonperdu 00:53, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Etruscan and Nakh-Daghestanian[edit]

Hi everyone! I don't want to provoke any discussion on this, but the article should mention the NEC hypothesis as well (e.g. Starostin & Orel's article - I can't remember the title, I haven't read that). There are a few scholars who still seem to be toying with this idea. Besides the quite promising Indo-Tyrrhenian (or, if you like, Eurasiatic/Nostratic) hypothesis (for which Glen Gordon and others have offered many interesting arguments, such as the typical Eurasiatic-looking /mi/ versus /mini/ in the 1st person pronoun), the NEC one also deserves some attention, I suppose (that Starostin's reconstruction of PNC is questionable is another problem, of course).--Pet'usek [petrdothrubisatgmaildotcom] 13:34, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

I've read the paper by Starostin and Orel. Well, there are some untenable claims, but it deserves a mention. Once I've got some time, I'll have a look at it...--Pet'usek [petrdothrubisatgmaildotcom] 11:52, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I've just found out that the idea of a (North(east)) Caucasian connection is still pursued by some scholars, therefore I've decided to add a mention and a reference to that in the classificatory section. I hope nobody minds that. If Albanian and Semitic can be mentioned, why not Northeast Caucasian, right? No worries - just a mention. ;-) --Pet'usek [petrdothrubisatgmaildotcom] 11:55, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

History of Etruscan literacy[edit]

In this section, we include without references the claim:

Christian authorities collected such works of paganism and burnt them during the 5th century; the single surviving Etruscan book, Liber Linteus, being written on linen, survived only by being used as mummy wrappings.

At [1] it is noted that this claim is oft-repeated but there seems to be no primary source for it. As the available evidence seems to indicate that Etruscan books were written on linen, that alone may be a sufficient explanation for none (or rather, very few) being extant several centuries after the death of the last person able to write them.

I wonder if this originated as a reference to Stilicho's alleged burning of the last Sibylline Books. If so, it should be pointed out that by Stilicho's time, the Sybilline Books kept in the temple of Apollo were not originals, and were written in Greek, not Etruscan.

So, in short, does anyone know of any supporting evidence for this claim? -- Securiger 12:36, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

From the writing system section[edit]

Etruscan words have been successfully explained from the resources of the Armenian, the Albanian, and the Rhaeto-Romansch languages.

How cryptic and strange! What on Earth is this supposed to mean? FilipeS (talk) 21:12, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Apparent nonsense, I suppose... ;-) --Pet'usek [petrdothrubisatgmaildotcom] 11:53, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Consonants[edit]

Based on standard spellings by Etruscan scribes that appear otherwise to lack vowels or that have strings of clusters that as they occur seem phonetically impossible to pronounce, as seen in words like cl "of this (gen.)" and lautn "freeman", it is likely that "m", "n", "l" and "r" were sometimes written for syllabic resonants. Thus cl /kl̩/ and lautn /'lɑwtn̩/.

I don't understand. What is supposed to be significant about these words? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.101.76.122 (talk) 01:16, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps that the /l/ and /n/ in those words function as nuclei of the syllables... ;-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Petusek (talkcontribs) 11:55, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Also (although I am no phoneticist), certain phonetic structures are rare or unheard of in any human language; written words that appear to have so-called "illegal" phonetic structures are scrutinized closely, to see if in fact the consonants actually have vowel-sounds between them (try saying the consonants yourself and see if you can actually avoid sort of vowel). If so, the writing system is at least partly a syllabary.LeValley 07:32, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Sources?[edit]

I was reading along looking at the vocabulary list, thinking that there were remarkable parallels, in many cases, to other languages, sometimes of disparate groupings. Then I got to "taliθa" for "girl", and suddenly I lost all confidence in this article. Either somebody inserted "taliθa" to be funny, or there's an uncanny similarity between a three-syllable word (one which approaches "fundamental vocabulary") in Etruscan, and in Aramaic. If this isn't somebody's idea of a joke, please cite the source. Any Bible scholar knows Jesus' uttrance "Talitha, kumi" (Maid, arise!)...and I have to believe serious linguists are aware of this... which is why I am dumbfound to see no mention of a possible link to Aramaic made here. Mi/Mini, yeah, that reeks of a potential Indo-European or "Nostratic" link...but a three-syllable happenstance, not even cognate, same freaking word? That's not happenstance...if it's not a hoax, it's either borrowing [oh, how?] or a definitive link. What's shocking [and to me, therefore, unbelievable] is that nobody seems to have bothered to research it. Granted, the article contains a "Semitic hypothesis" section, which dismisses the idea out of hand (even using the editorializing word "fantastical" (in violation of both WP:NOR and WP:NPOV), and without bothering to cite more than a single solitary source less than 150 years old in support of that dismissal, I might add)... To be clear, I'm not trying to advocate an Etruscan-Semitic link here...my primary thrust is to make sure that the article isn't including pranksterism in its otherwise authoritative (if excessively vague, bar the lexicon portion) text. Gedächte? 71.87.23.22 (talk) 06:00, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Don't get too excited, buddy. Homonyms between disparate languages are fairly common and a certain number of those mean the same. No one is suggesting anything. This article needs work now, no doubt. When I worked on it there were a number of Internet speculatists that I avoided assiduously following the written advice of the major scholars in their books. I knew if I stayed away they would surely creep back in. So, thanks for pointing out this article needs work. I note it has lost your credibility. Nothing wrong with that. When articles get too far out of line someone usually turns up to fix them. I will be one of those at some point not too far off now. I usually work from a quota of articles so as soon as I can fit this in it is going in. The "pranksters" you are talking about - don't get too paranoid (like me). There are some people who sincerely believe they have have deciphered Etruscan and since they have an Internet site (in contrast to past speculatists) they can be be heard, and since they are in charge, they can attribute to it any authority they like. Don't be put off or put on; be skeptical and grant credibility only to the scholars. There is little certainty in this field. Best wishes.Dave (talk) 19:14, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

There are many Phoenician, Arabic and other semitic words in Etruscan although it is an IE language. These may be explained as borrowings from early time direct contacts (when Etruscans lived in Anatolia or nearby) or later through Carthagenian.Zanzan1 (talk) 05:20, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Talitha sounds very much like a proto-Hellenic term, so no surprise if it turns up all around the Mediterranean, especially as so much boat travel (by Hellenes and Minoans and Phoenicians, who all spoke to each other) regarded collecting girls and goods, obviously. The word could have come into Semitic languages from the Greek/Etruscan, easily. The phonetic structure...etc.LeValley 00:08, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Speculative relationships: fringe and serious mix[edit]

Speculative relationships should be lower down in the article. The following are elaborate fringe, bogus and mindlessnesses:

  • Semitic - because of the sole proponents obvious bias,
  • Hungarian - because of the preposterous rewritings of history it requires, and the anachronism (+ maybe some dubious Hungarian nationalist stuff in the background)


Maybe Hungarian nationalists forced Alinei to write and publish his book. :-) I have learned Hungarian and I think there are too many similarities between the BASIC VOCABULARY of Hungarian and "Toscan" (=Etruscan - according to Latin auctors). It's very important to study the pronunciation of Hungarian words! Only a few exemple. "cilla" like Hungarians call 'star' is "cael(um)" in Latin, "cielo" in Italian. Hungarian and Italian pronunciacions are the same. But in Latin and Italian this word means not only 'star' but also the whole 'sky'. Hungarian "sarva" ('deer') is "cervo" (masculinum) or "cerva" (femininum) in Latin and Italian. Hungarian "ad" ('give') is "do" (or "et" as a conjunction) in Latin and Italian. Hungarian "kap" ('get, ricieve') is "cap-" in Latin and Italian. Hung. "fojam" ('river') is "fiume" in Italian. Hung. "fia" ('the son of sby') is "filia" in Lat., "figlia" in Ital. Pronunciations are the same. Hung. "tiz" ('ten') is "dec-" in Lat., "dieci" in Ital. (Hungarians pronounce "t" like "d" and in several cases "z" like "c".) Hung. "apat" ('father') is "pate(r)" in Lat., "padre" in Ital. Hung. "virag" ('flower') is "vir(a)go" in the archaic Lat. and "fiore" in Ital. Hung. "nince" ('there's no sg') is "non ce" in Ital. with the same pronunciation. Hung. "eppen" ('just, exactly') is "appena" in Ital. Hung. "eges" and "igas" ('total' and 'true') is "jus" in Lat., "gius(to)" in Ital. Hung. "lat"+"tei" ('see'+'milk') is in connection with lightness and whiteness in Lat.&Ital. It's "lac" ('white milk') in Lat. and "latte" (the same) in Ital. Hung. "gestene" ('chestnut') is "castani" in Ital. Etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. ... In addition, there's a geographycal corridor between "Tusculanum" and Hungary. Unfortunately, I haven't read Alinei's book yet. But if I could I'll also learn more Hungarian&Latin&Italian in the future! 14:51, 7 Jan 2009 (UTC)
If you pronounce those Hungarian and Italian words "the same" there's something wrong with your pronunciation of either language. A lot of etceteras do not constitute a scientific method. Some of the Hungarian words you mention might very well be loanwords from IE, that proves nothing. And what does all that have to do with Etruscan? For further research into Latin etymology I suggest this groundbreaking work.--87.162.13.201 (talk) 22:59, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. :-) 20:08, 15 Jan 2009 (UTC)
So the theory can't be right because it rewrites the IE invasions, and the IE invasion if right make the Hungarian relation impossible? Isn't this circular? I'm not selling the PCT as "fact" but damn, I'm guessing that someday DNA tests will be removed from Wikipedia since they don't support Gimbutas (j/k). I think as I said bellow that the reader could benefit from some further information on this theory, including why it can be considered "bogus" and "mindless", and why not. --85.138.217.123 (talk) 03:15, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

The following is serious, but maybe obsolete:

  • Indo-European - because the science didn't know better at that time, and it is revived in another way,
  • not mentioned: a proposed Indo-Etruscan macro-family,

The following can be either, more citations needed:

  • Luwian - because the Antique sources support the notion,

The Tyrsenian family theory is about a slightly different topic (a narrower time frame and narrower set of languages), the Pelasgian theory (Tyrsenian langs + Pelasgian/Eteokretan/+???) also regards a family grouping.

I think the heading Speculative relationships now is too fringy; it should be split into serious and fringe/obsolete (the fringe/obsolete part can retain the name "Speculative relationships"), and the serious to something like "Relationships" or "Related languages", to contain at least the other Tyrsenian languages, down to carefully words about a possible far relationship to Indo-Yooropajjan (note my innovative spelling, isn't it cyoot?). Said: Rursus 10:22, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

there are indeed problems here. The Albanian and Hungarian stuff do not deserve their own section, a brief mention will be more than enough. The Indo-European (or Indo-Etruscan macro-family, if you prefer) hypothesis isn't that fringy, just very speculative. The Semitic theory is just of historical interest, but notable in that respect. --dab (𒁳) 14:05, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi Dieter, feel free to recategorize these hypotheses any way you want, but IMHO it does not seem that describing a hypothesis, no matter how fringy, violates NPOV. These hypotheses are part of the history of Etruscology. I can't really say that there is a "dispute" - look at the article in its present form. There are a couple of old hypotheses which are certainly looking very improbable now, but perhaps impossible to disprove or prove 100% - unless we find a copy of Claudius' dictionary! By the way, if Albanian is now accepted as part of the IE family, why should an Albanian hypothesis be treated differently from an IE hypothesis? Thanks! Jpaulm (talk) 19:13, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

I think you want to read up WP:DUE and WP:FRINGE. The question is, how much weight does this stuff carry in relation to the topic of "Etruscan language". --dab (𒁳) 16:27, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Dieter, that helps! Also, I didn't realize that Smackbot changed your undue to NPOV - that seems strange! I could live with undue, but NPOV to me puts a different twist on things! Could we just remove the template, now that you have restored the due balance?! Jpaulm (talk) 22:24, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Hello, I think the Nakh-Daghestanian/Northeast Caucasian hypothesis should be mentioned among the serious proposals as well. There have been a few serious scholars supporting that proposal (Starostin, too, considered Etruscan a "North Caucausan" language, but a link between the two constituent families , namely Nakh-Daghestanian/Northeast Caucasian and Abkhazo-Adyghean/Northwest Caucasian, hasn't been widely accepted, which casts some doubts on the validity of Starostin & Orel's comparisons, of course, but it is quite surprising to see how similar Johanna Nichols and/or Wolfgang Schulze's PEC/PND reconstructions - at least some of them - are to those of Nikolayev/Starostin, so, we'll see what time brings). True, considering the scarcity and stereotypicity of Etruscan material, it will be hard to prove anything. Anyway, I still think this proposal is worth mentioning. Do you agree? --Pet'usek [petrdothrubisatgmaildotcom] 11:29, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

The suggestions in this section are all well-argued and tenable. I think the Proto-Boreal hypothesis (which places Hungarian/Altaic languages in the same root stock as Caucasian and Indo-European (and what used to be called Nostratic) is a useful term. The stem language would be so ancient that its traces could be weak or strong in a particular language; but the continguous nature of the languages is important. People have to come from somewhere, the linguistics and genetics need to line up. Recent work on genetics in Lombardy/Tuscany as compared to Rome or Venice may be useful, one day, in adding to the linguistic understanding.LeValley 07:38, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Similarities between Old Turkic and Etruscan alphabets[edit]

there are many same characters in both of these alphabets, is there any serious research about it? see Old Turkic script—Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

no relation. There are only so many shapes you can form by combining two or three straight strokes. --dab (𒁳) 13:58, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

no realation? you didnt even compare them, i found 12 same characters.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.174.23.184 (talk) 14:12, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

No relation. Etruscan used a variant of the Greek alphabet. --Larth_Rasnal (talk) 23:50, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

That much seems clear. However, the Greek alphabet's origins are a bit shrouded in mist.LeValley 07:47, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Uralic language family[edit]

"This theory has not been widely accepted in academic circles" But most of them are not against the uralic theory, just against the ugric therory. J. Martha: La langue étrusque - this was the first work, not the M. Alinei book. Macel Otte, Alexander Häusler, Xaviero Ballester assume this theory. I think this is an academic circle. (I dont want to write in the text because of my bad english, but please rename this subhead (ugric -> uralic) and delete this sentence) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.209.219.69 (talk) 22:22, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I want to add to this... the "This theory has not been widely accepted in academic circles" part seems rather generic. I've read 3 supportive reviews and 1 opposing one. Wile this is hardly proof of anything (I'm no specialist, so there could be hundreds of negative reviews out there) it would perhaps be better to offer some additional detail to the Uralic language section... --85.138.217.123 (talk) 03:09, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Proposed split[edit]

Hm. No one has said much of anything on this split. So here goes. It should not be "Tyrsenian languages". There are some legitimate evidenced Tyrsenian languages and we have an article by that name. What the tag is on are the numerous speculative "decipherments" and proposed connections, which is not the same thing at all. Therefore I recommend the split but I suggest the name "Etruscan language proposed decipherments". So I am putting a new tag for it below the old for you to consider. I can hardly work on this until we decide on this.Dave (talk) 19:24, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

"Etruscan language proposed decipherments" is totally unacceptable - it would look as if we could not read Etruscan, as if were written in an undeciphered script, as if it were a cipher. Something like "Proposed relationships" or "Proposed relatives of Etruscan" or what would be much better. Please, look at the Basque language page, at the proposals section. It's brief and informative enough. I don't think we need a larger text. Hence, I don't agree with your proposal, sorry. --Pet'usek [petrdothrubisatgmaildotcom] 16:22, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I had the same feeling - there is no problem deciphering the script - it's understanding the language that is the problem. Jpaulm (talk) 00:03, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Wow, what an interesting split to make, from an ordinary language point of view. Are both of you specialists in this area of linguistics? I think the two concepts are inter-related. I'm curious as to whether anyone has considered a section on language and archaeology (similar to Colin Renfrew's work). The same people who spoke Etruscan had clothing, jewelry, amphoras. They had trade routes linking them to the places where amber and lapis could come from (not a lot of places). They had to maintain a language that permitted some trade - and it was either overland or oversea or both). Has anyone, for example, considered Etruscan customs/technology as part of the puzzle of figuring out their language (I know it's been done, I'm just curious why it's not mentioned in the article). At any rate, no one is going to either completely decipher OR understand Etruscan without the ordinary contextual framework of everyday life that is always in play in translation. LeValley 07:57, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

The Tyrsenian languages article exists. I would argue that the more cranky suggestions (Ugric, Semitic) should go to the main article in the spirit of WP:SS, and only the serious points of debate should be kept (relation to Raetic, Indo-European yes or no? Particular relation to Anatolian yes or no?) --dab (𒁳) 18:03, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Grandmother, teta[edit]

The word for grandmother, teta, reminded me of the affectionate word for grandmother in Lebanese Arabic, teta (pronounced tay-tah). Isn't this curious? Could there be a Semitic link? G. Csikos, 13 August 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.245.238.133 (talk) 01:47, 14 August 2009 (UTC) You may be right, Etruscan has borrowed many Phoenician and Arabic words.Zanzan1 (talk) 05:40, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

If I remember rightly, Jespersen warned against drawing inferences from relationship words, as many of them seem to have their roots in baby-talk, e.g. all the mama, dada, papa, nana words that crop up in so many unrelated languages. Jpaulm (talk) 15:03, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
My English speaking daughters called one set of grandparents Teto and Teta, a loose relationship to their names (very loose). It's baby talk. LeValley 08:00, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Sanscrit[edit]

I wish to inform the English speaking readers of the work of the Italian scholar Bernardini Marzolla who in 1984 published a book entitled: "Etruscan, a found again language" (Mondadori, Milan). In his work by using a rigourous philologic method of analysis he proves, in my opinion beyond any doubt, the strict relationship of Etruscan and Sanscrit. He interprets many epigraphic monumenta in a compelling way. Furthermore he explains the precise original meaning of many Etrusacn words that had already been previously 'guessed' or given by the ancient glossae only approximately. He also identifies many Etruscan words as borrowed from ancient Farsi, Arabic, Phoenician and putting this info into perspective gives an explanation of the origin and wanderings of this people that broadly confirms the views of Herodotus that they came from Anatolia, although their origins should be traced to India. The stele of Lemnos too confirms this hypothesis in the author's view. The name Tyrhsenoi is the Sanscrit Turasena, Porsenna is Purasena, clan jilan (fetus), aisar ashura... By only using Sir Monier William's dictionary in his genial work he has solved one of the greatest mysteries of history and glottology.Zanzan1 (talk) 04:51, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

It's odd that Marzolla would be so specific. Considering that, according to this article, Etruscan had no voiced or murmured stops, the most one could say is that it's Indo-Iranian. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 02:24, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

I have not got the book on hand now, sorry. I read it in 1985 and as far as I remember Marzolla's method is very rigorous, systematic and consistent in the task of identifying word boundaries, sound changes, especially vowels, and syntax. Being a classic philologist he believes first of all in consistency in sound changes, and he sticks to this principle throughout his work. Whereas Sanscrit has a richer vowel system, Etruscan has undergone a great deal of change and his system is very 'corrupt' and many originally different sounds have turned into one, while other have been simply obliterated. This explains the long consonantic groupings typical of Etruscan. The phenomenon can be partly explained by strong accentuation of the language.Zanzan1 (talk) 05:38, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Okay, well until you or anyone finds this book or reference to it from other scholars, I don't see any reason to edit the article accordingly. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 07:03, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the attention. Of course I am neither a sanscritist nor a glottologist. I did not quite get your previous remark about the 'voiced or murmured stops' Etruscan would not have if this hypothesis is correct. Could you please elaborate a bit on this for me? Thanks.Zanzan1 (talk) 09:19, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

The consonant inventories of the two languages are quite different. See Sanskrit and compare the phonology section to this article's. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 06:53, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

I've read the book. It is yet another crank theory. 06:04, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Another book by professor Piero Bernardini Marzolla on the subject[edit]

Yesterday I googled his name and discovered that professor Marzolla published in 2005 another book on the same subject entitled "La parola agli Etruschi" ETS. In the brief description given by the publisher it is stated that here he developes his previous discoveries and interprets a large amount of new inscriptions. He supports and develops his theory by showing that the phonetic changes underwent by Sanscrit and Greek origin words are the same in the Etruscan outcomes, that word formation, suffixes, prefixes and compounds in Sanscrit and Etruscan are identical, that the Sanscrit origin is further confirmed by the Etruscan being a Satem language as Sanscrit. He also advances the hypothesis that Etruscan might be the continuation of Indoaryan, a language attested with certainty even if poorly.Zanzan1 (talk) 04:27, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Okay, you've already mentioned this guy's theory. Do you have access to this or any of his works? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 05:30, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

No, I am sorry, I have none on hand now. I shall try get them.Zanzan1 (talk) 08:16, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but this discussion is pointless. Anybody who knows Sanskrit can see that there is no way to understand Etruscan as coming from Sanskrit. At best (at very best) it could be Indo-European (for example, man may try to relate the Etruscan copulative suffixe -c with PIE *qwe, but not with Indo-Iranian who palatalized it; add to this the vowel system, the agglutinant but not flexive morphology and the huge differences in flexion). In fact many people has tried to explain Etruscan as Indo-European, especially as Anatolian, (see the works by of Kretschmer, as an own Reto-Tyrrenian family, or of Georgiev, as Anatolian). Even so it would be a very odd I-E language.
But, as it is easy to see, no reliable expert on Etruscan language has believed the Sanskrit origin idea; and Wikipedia should depend on the reliable sources. We should quote only what the reliable works on Etruscan consider to be quotable or that at least has been published in a serious Journal, else we should quote every book "discovering" the family relations of Etruscan (there is even one saying it is a Greek dialect).
In the experts work we can only find the following relations:
  • Etruscan as related to Raetic and Lemnian (considered sure at least the Lemnian link) and probably with some substrat language in Greece (Cristofani 1999, p. 83).
  • Etruscan and Lemnian may have some relationship with the Anatolian languages (see for example Steinbauer 1999 pp. 366-389 or in his webpage where it is clear that is a non sure hypothesis: "as long as the relationship of the Etruscan and Lemnian languages with the Anatolian languages is admitted".
  • Also quotable is Facchetti's proposal of a relation between Etruscan and Minoan (Linear A) language. Facchetti is an expert on Etruscan who has published in reputed journals on Etruscan and on Minoan (see his C.V.)
BTW anybody else has notice that in this article there is many section that should be in their own article (that's to say that do not belong to a linguistic article: such as the writing and inscriptions section) and that the section on language is very short?. Compare it with the Italian version. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 11:15, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

My aim here is not entering into a long, loud and tiresome argument. Neither is it my habit to exchange views with people who speak conceitedly and arrogantly. My only aim is to let the English speaking general public be informed of the existence of this theory. They should be allowed to have the opportunity to be informed and then make their ouwn judgement about its value by themselves.

Let me point out that:

1) Professor Marzolla is no ordinary guy. He graduated in classic philology at the Scuola Normale of Pisa, perhaps the best and most renowned Italian university. He is an ordinary of classic philology at the university.

2) His method of analysis is rigorously scientific. To be scientific a theory must meet certain criteria, ie validity, accuracy, replicability. His theory meets all these criteria. It has proven valid ie succesful in interpreting a large body of documents. I shall relate here what I remember. If an Etruscan word is supposed to be the outcome of a Sanscrit one it should be possible to recover the original Sanscrit word through a definite set of phonetic changes. By studying linguistic material in the two languages Marzolla defined such a set of changes (that should have occurred over time). Once defined this set of changes must of course be strictly adhered to in order to preserve the scientific value of the theory.

Well, by applying his method he made his first discovery that confirmed the validity of his theory beyond doubt, at least in this instance. He chose at random an inscritpion from Pallottino's TLE and transformed the Etruscan word x into the corresponding word *x' in Sanscrit through his method. Looking up in Sir Monier Williams's dictionary he found that the Sanscrit word *x' means magpie (a little bird). To his own surprise the day after he discovered that this inscription is indeed on a small statue of a magpie, the Volterra magpie. This pattern of events repeated dozens of times. May this all be by chance?

3) Experts who are allowed to publish on scientific periodicals. These people fall into 2 categories: etruscologists and glottologists. Etruscologists as usual do not know much glottology or linguistcs and give arbitrary, wavering interpretations, often based on folk etimology. Eg the 'published' Facchetti understands Selvans as Lat. Silvanus! Glottologist are very strict but often get baffled by their own narrowness of view. It is no use to compare Etruscan to Retic, Lydian, Lycian, Minoan since we have too little left of them. Marzolla acknowledged that Etruscan is cognate to Laemnian and Lycian but this is not of much help. Only a well known language can help us read the extant Etruscan documents. Better then the Caucasian hypothesis. However the most ancient best known IE language is Sanscrit and it was this fact that made Marzolla start his research on it. He got his convinction that E. is an IE language from 'itanim' a word found both in Russian and E. and apparently cognate with Lat. 'ita'.

4) I already said that word formation, affixes, phonetic changes are constant and consistent in Etruscan in reflecting the original. The assumption that Etruscan is an agglutinant language proves nothing. First it is just an assumption, ie it is by no means proved that E. is agglutinant, then flexive languages can change to agglutinant (see Armenian). But I said I do not want to enter a debate.

5) If Wikipedia has informed the public of M. Alinei's (a veteran linguist) theory that E. is a form of Hungarian, I do not see why it should not give info about Marzolla's view in this discussion section.

That said I do not want that this info gets into the text by all means. I am just trying and informing the interested people who happen to read this discussion.Zanzan1 (talk) 09:20, 30 August 2009 (UTC)Zanzan1 (talk) 10:10, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Dear Zanzan1. Thanks for the adverbs "conceitedly and arrogantly" ;-). Unfortunately I am not so conceited and arrogant as to classify Etrucologists ;-) (I still have to learn from the masters!!),but you forgot to classify Indo-Europeanists ;-). Thanks again. Your qualifications remember me the ones which wrote defenders of the translation of Etruscan through Basque some months ago, they also claimed the right to spread their theories and accused me of censorship, conspiracy and many other sympa things :-).
You should read what Wikipedia is, and what is not. Wikipedia is not a place "to let the English speaking general public be informed of the existence" of any theory or to allow them "to have the opportunity to be informed and then make their own judgement by themselves about its value". You should get used to the concept of reliable sources before speaking of conceited and arrogant (did I already thank you?. If you are annoyed by the quote of data and books written by experts,it is not a logical behaviour.
Maybe Marzolla should send his discoveries to a serious journal of Indo-iranian or of Indo-European studies. Has he done in the 25 years from the publication of his book?
BTW I have knowledge on Sanskrit and on Etruscan.--Dumu Eduba (talk) 18:12, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Note for the record. When I wrote that comment I did not know that Zanzan1 had written that "etruscologists are a big 'mafia' " and that the need of a reliable source to add information to Wikipedia " is simply censorship" , and that he will "refrain from posting on a site that is not open to free debate". [[2]]. What a pity, I "forsaw" too much :-(. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 12:02, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

I wish to apologize for the adverbs. I stand by my word on the content. If you hold unconventional and/or unaccepted ideas you have no chance of seeing your works published.

I found it interesting browsing the links you provide: Steinbauer looks serious and steadfast, as any German scholar. About Facchetti I have no idea but that he makes a common mistake ie that of relying on folk etimologies: Selvans as it is stated in Wikipedia and as it has been noticed by Marzolla is a civil God, He has to do with political life and cannot be interpreted as the Lat. Silvanus. BTW Wikipedia is self contradicting on this point and makes the same mistake too. Another common example of folk etim. is Tyrhsenos as related to 'turris' (and hence to the Sardinians etc.).

Reading what is available on Wikipedia I met just one serious claim (by Bonfante) that may question the IE nature of E. ie the numerals that look from another family ( maybe centroasiatic, ie Turcomongolic?).

I am very ignorant in comparative linguistic, however I was able to identify at a glance many IE words in Steinbauer's vocabulary (and another) provided here:


ais, aisar god —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.163.7.98 (talk) 05:25, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

cel earth

ushil sun

luri bright

thesan dawn Skr

mi I, me

sa self

marish male, husband

lasa nymph, wife, young woman

puia wife, woman

nefts nephew

tinia day, daylight

maru magistrate, priest

ita this, so

shpur city Skr

shuthi tomb Skr

Nethuns Skr

Menrva

Uni Skr

Sorry for being long and boring.



Zanzan1 (talk) 10:56, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

OK. Apologies accepted.
The question is still that the rules of the wikipedia are to follow the reputed sources, not to discuss on their validity. It is an obvious necessity as, otherwise, we should deal with forty different unpublished theories.
The method of Marzolla is dubious because Indo-Europeanists use the whole Indo-European documentation which is by far much richer than that of any Indo-European language, and the phonetic and morphological rules (at the very least they use Greek, Latin, Vedic, Hittite, Old Church Slavic and Gothic). The other bad idea in using Sanskrit is that this is a very literary language, with many semantic changes and metaphors (for example the original meaning of "hastin" "elephant" is "handed"). Besides this ancient Indo-Iranian languages had a very rich morphology (similar to the of Ancient Greek, as they are near families) which is obviously absent in Etruscan, and a very peculiar phonemic structure, again very different to Etruscan.
So the only Indo-Europeans open ways are two: Etruscan as part of an independent Indo-European family; or Etruscan as an Anatolian language; on both of them there is abundant serious academic bibliography (especially on Anatolian). But probably Etruscan was a non Indo-European language.
Two additional comments. In fact there is no such an iron censorship in regular Journals, some of the articles accepted for its publication with odd and new "theories" have little sense. In a few cases you can find in reputed journal (or allegedly reputed) completely absurd articles, but again wikipedia is not a place to judge this question (so do not ask me for examples). So there are many more bad articles that get published, that unpublished good articles (these ones used to get only deferred). The second one is that Selvans idea is not Facchetti's, and that religious syncretism is not as linear (see for example the Celtic Mercury, which is a major warrior god).
Regards. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 10:24, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Some "ideas" for a better article[edit]

I do not have any intention to offend anybody. I respect the work made, and I do not like people who ask corrections claiming against incompetents an so.... That said, I "feel" that this article could be very improved.

My first proposal is that the the sections 4. (Writing system) and 5. (The media) should be in their own article. There are not really linguistic or concerning the language and are the largest section.

The classification section is too large for the few real data that it affords. The other section could be deleted (maybe the Caucasian theory which I do not know enough to dismiss and is recent (I mean that there may have been no enough time for the Etruscan expert to write against or to support; but is Robertson's paper published or only a pdf internet?). Woudhuizen is secondary references; it seems that the only used references are those written in English; I miss the viewpoints of Steinbauer, Cristofani, or Facchetti (including the Minoan theory), all three reputed etruscologists!.

To the language description should be added the many more material that it is in the Italian version. A translator should be asked.

BTW: answering the still not asked obvious questions: a) my level of English is too poor for big additions; b) I have too few time available. I can only make little additions. Alas, so is life!--Dumu Eduba (talk) 16:19, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the advice. I think the writing system and media sections are relevent but if they can be articles in their own right then we can always make such articles and shorten these sections. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 17:02, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

"The Latin alphabet that is used in English "[edit]

The only approprate expression for that is "misuse"! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.221.253.31 (talk) 12:33, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

"Etruscan book in Bulgarian National History Museum"[edit]

There seems to have been very little talk about it since 2003, and still no mention of what is actually written. I'm starting to suspect this may be about as genuine as the Visoko "pyramids" in Serbia. After all, it's easy to claim that unnamed experts from wherever have verified its age. It's been almost seven years, more than enough time to give at least preliminary findings. Until more information becomes available, I think this book should be considered a modern forgery.

Indeed, the fact that the book has received little attention and has been scarcely mentioned in the last seven years is strong proof that it has been since found to be a fake. The fact that its contents have not been published is highly suspicious. Since the burden of proof is on those who support the authenticity of the book, they are obligated to provide proof of its authenticity from a reliable, scholarly, peer-reviewed source. The BBC does not qualify, nor do any publicity materials released by the museum. I am therefore deleting all mention of the book until its authenticity is properly sourced. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 03:50, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Given the lack of funding and the real drop-off in academic publishing (with vast amounts of original research in fields I'm familiar with still awaiting publication or only published anecdotally in academic newsletters), seven years of silence is nothing. Academia is not speedy right now. LeValley 08:11, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Isn't Visoko in Bosnia? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.65.193.50 (talk) 11:40, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Persona[edit]

I saw the reference to "persona from Etruscan φersu", and wondered when that became generally accepted. When I was at school, we were taught that "persona" came from the masks that actors wore, that they "sounded through" (personare). Jpaulm (talk) 18:32, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Easy, it is that Latin word "persona" the one which comes from the Etruscan word. No contradiction. Dumu Eduba (talk) 10:09, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Maybe I didn't make myself clear: "per" is "through", and "sonare" is "to sound", in Latin. How does φersu magically split into two Latin morphemes (if that's the right word)? Any Latin scholars out there? Jpaulm (talk) 02:34, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Persona was borrowed into Latin from Etruscan, in which the word "phersu" does indeed mean "mask". So that part of the story you heard is right. The part about it being derived from "per-" + "sonare", however, is wrong. It's an example of folk etymology, like "sincere" being derived from "sine cere", or "without wax", another oft repeated yarn. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 03:40, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, didn't spot your update. That's interesting - do we know the meaning of "phersu" from a bilingual? And could the "-na" suffix be an Etruscan case ending? Jpaulm (talk) 21:00, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
The word phersu appears in a tomb picture for two persons wearing masks, a pointed hat and a special dress. The context of the picture are spectacles (mainly gladiators). Bonfante, for example, translates phersu as "mask" and yes, considers a word *phersu-na as an adjective (I guess that as "masked"). The images of the two phersu (one of them dancing) can be seen in this | page.Dumu Eduba (talk) 11:51, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Beautiful! Thanks, Dumu Eduba! I like it when a word is associated with a picture - that was a lot of the appeal for me of the (now largely discredited) Zacharie Mayani! Jpaulm (talk) 02:10, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Edit problems[edit]

Since some days ago a user Ornolfurk is making some editons with from dubious to silly editions. For example, (s)he claims a relation between etruscan verb cer and Latin facere dividing the Latin word as fa-cer. This is simply impossible since the Latin root is fac- and the -er appears in the infinitive which in old Latin (contemporary to the age of most Etruscan inscriptions) is -ese (>-ere), the same applies to other -s- in the verb. Other explanations are simply odd (as the theory of vowels moving such as for relating usil with solis (BTW inventing a Latin word **sulis); but the word is "sol being the -is the Genitive ending (that comes from an original -es), or explaining phersu as per sceane [sic] (real Latin per scaenam) and as Italic (when scaena is a Greek loanword), without even trying to explain the very dubious resemblance (for example, neither Etruscan, nor Latin lost the -c-). Of course these editions are done without sources or references.

I have being reverting these editions (even if I let one which was only dubious), but they are re-appearing. Can some administrator take a look on this question. Thanks. Dumu Eduba (talk) 11:47, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Dubious word associations[edit]

I've removed a few more dubious relationships from the vocabulary section:

  • RasnaTursenioi; lucairregal: Letter-scrambling isn't a valid phonological process.
  • pes "land" → Latin pes: The Latin word means "foot", not "land".
  • neri → Modern Greek neró: Modern Greek had no contact with Etruscan.
  • capra "urn" → Latin capra: The Latin word means "goat", not "urn".
  • am- → English am: English am comes from the Proto-Indo-European root es- and the first-person singular suffix -mi.
  • tur- → Latin dare: The root is da-; the r is part of the infinitive suffix -re.

Eru·tuon 16:11, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

OK for the most, but Bonfante (The Etruscan language: an introduction (p. 72) considers kapra a Latin loanword in Etruscan (I will revise the data, but maybe the original "urn" had an animal form, as the pig shaped money boxes). On tursenoi /Ras(e)na there are many opinions (even those which conclude that Rasena does not mean "etruscus" but "populus") but probably the main hypothesis is that there are unrelated.
To make things weirder I realize now that the same Bonfantes' book in page 113 suggest an explanation for kapra as a loanword from Greek kamptra. I will search in other books. Dumu Eduba (talk) 12:13, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
ADDENDA: It looks like the kapra question is more complicated. It exists an ancient gloss stating that kapra in Etruscan means "goat", but some people estimate that the glosser confounded a Latin word as Etruscan (as for example that which states that dea is goddess in Etruscan). Dumu Eduba (talk) 12:42, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
OK. The good version is the last. It turns out that I read too quickly the reference on page 72 and misunderstood  it (my fault, sorry); capra as "goat" is not a Etruscan word. Dumu Eduba (talk) 11:56, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Usil is certainly related to Sabin ausil sun. Nero' was in use since ancient times for water in Greek.Zanzan32 (talk) 05:15, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure what ancient times you're talking about. Etruscan is known from the 8th century BC to 1st AD. During that time, the common Greek word for water was ὔδωρ, not νερό. Νερό is not even listed in Liddell and Scott. The most similar Ancient Greek word, νηρός/νηρόν, meant "fresh" until perhaps the 4th or 6th century AD, which is too late for contact with Etruscan. — Eru·tuon 22:58, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Disagree. Present day nero' was in use much earlier in spoken Greek as well as many other words of common use, e.g. house no longer oikos in spoken language since Hellenistic times. Many words of Neoellenic are of obscure origin exactly because they are loans from now forgotten languages of ancient Asia Minor. Moreover nero' cannot derive from neeros "fresh" because of the phenomenon of itacism: i.e. it would now be pronounced niro'. As for usil-ausil I am not certain which of the two is a loan, given Skt. sura, surya. Cf. also Sabin Sora, soranus (hirpi sorani), Soractes. However aus- gives the idea of splendent as gold (aus-um), cf. aus-el-ius and aus-os-a dawn.



The word νερόν is listed in Glossarium Graeco-barbarum (1614) of Johannes Meursius,page. 365.Phrynicus the Bythenian (2 A.D) in his ΦΡΥΝΙΧΟΥ ΕΚΛΟΓΗ (see PHRYNICHI EKLOGAE NOMINUM ET VERBORUM ATTICORUM, LIPSIAE 1820) advises against calling υδωρ νηρον (fresh) used here as an adjective qualifing the word water:«Νηρόν ύδωρ μη είπης, αλλά πρόσφατον, ακραιφνές» (page 42). In northern dialects of modern Greek it IS pronounced niro 'νιρό'.In Thrace and Asia Minor in some places it was pronounced νιαρό .In Ioannina and Grevena νιρού and in the island of Lemnos νερού.Note that Lemnos is the island where an inscription in an unknown language thought by some to be connected with Etruscan,was found.The ancient pronounciaton of 'η' was something like a long 'ε'.Pontic greek has retained the original pronounciation of η.e.g πεγάδι,well, instead of standard greek pigadi πηγάδι.However,the word nero νερό might be vulgar greek,a loanword from other languages, since ancient times.It can be a direct loan from Etruscan neri or some other pregreek language.In dravidian languages the word for water in 'nir' or niru.Karnataka «niru», Tuluva «nir», Kurgi «niru», Toda «nir», Kota «nire», Badaga «niru», Malabar «nir», Malayalma «nir», Tamil «nir» (Sir William Wilson Hunter, A comparative dictionary of the languages of India and high Asia, London 1868, σελ. 164)..Kitsof (talk) 06:22, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Very informative thank you. However I think this is a Greek word: since ancient times for wet: Brugmann 1889-90. Cf. Nereus god of the sea in Homer, Hesiod and his daughters the Nereids and Naiads: all from the stem root of neaoo I swim, Skt. snau (same source). So it is the Etruscans who borrowed it and not viceversa. Or it might be a case of alliance, i.e. realisation in different languages from a common root.Zanzan32 (talk) 08:39, 17 September 2010 (UTC)



Please refer also to the list of words of IE origin I mentioned above, based on the work of professor Marzolla:

Aisar god = Skt. ashura Avestic Ahura; luri light Lat. luridus light yellow,; shpur town Skt. pura; thesan dawn Skt.; shuthi tomb Skt. shuddi purification; etc.

I have already discussed the topic above with Dumu: I believe Marzolla is right: Etruscan at least received a strong influence from Indoiranian. It preserved too many words which are simply cognate of Vedic or even Hindi as well as Avestic and Pharsi. By far the largest part of its vocabulary. But it received influences from other ME languages e.g. Phoenician, Arabic, and ancient Anatolian languages.Zanzan32 (talk) 13:53, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Is there an Ancient Greek lexicon that mentions νερό (or νερόν, in Ancient Greek declension), to corroborate your claim that it was used in ancient times? — Eru·tuon 16:11, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Frisk's "Griechisches etymologisches Woerterbuch" says that though the primary meaning is fresh, it's also used for "fresh water" (http://www.indo-european.nl/cgi-bin/startq.cgi?flags=endnnnl&root=leiden&basename=\data\ie\frisk - do a search for Wasser) Akerbeltz (talk) 16:32, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I remember reading all this info on a Greek dictionary by G. Gemoll. Anyway nero' cannot derive from neeros because of itacism!Zanzan32 (talk) 04:45, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Anyway Chantraine in his dictionary admits νηρον as the origin of the modern Greek word. As the first meaning he states "fresh" (specially "fresh fish").Dumu Eduba (talk) 11:59, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

I asked a Greek friend for elucidations. The essay I read as a schoolboy was written by another scholar as an introduction to G. Gemoll's dictionary. As a rule an eta cannot result in an epsilon and should remain such, thence being pronounced as a iota, i.e. niro' .

As for ausel and ushil, here are the connexions:

aurum: old Lat. aus-um gold; Der. aur-el-ia golden chrysalis; aur-e-ola halo of golden light. Latte remarks the evoked idea in Latin was that of Glanz, shine citing Quint. XI 2, 31.

Aur-ora: old Lat. aus-osa dawn, Aeolic Gk. auoos dawn; Skt. ushaas dawn.

Aus-tr-um: Lat. wind of the South.

East: German Ostan, Icel. austr. Teut. type *aus-to or aust-ro, from IDG. * aus-ro; Cf. Lat. aus-osa dawn etc. above.

Easter: AS eeastre, goddess whose festival was at the vernal equinox (Beda de Temp. Rat. XV); Cf. Lith. auszra f. dawn; Skt. usra-, m. a ray.

In conclusion Etruscan ushil sun , whatever the way of its derivation, must apparently be related to these words.

Marzolla in his last book La parola agli Etruschi, of which I have read only the presentation by the publisher, hypothesises Etruscan may have been influenced by an Indoiranian superstratum as the languages of the Mitanni-Hittite area of Anatolia and upper Mesopotamia. He also points to the same word construction of Sanskrit in the use of suffixes and prefixes and the same phonetic changes in Sanskrit and Greek derivate Etruscan words.Zanzan32 (talk) 04:19, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

yes, I am aware on the question of the itacism, but unfortunately I did not read the article on the question (maybe something on the vocal ablaut? the proto-word seems to be *nearos). The question is that Chantraine proposes that.
On usil, what remains if we apply the same degree of criticism that to neero for itacism?
On the indo-iranian question I am very sceptic (with suffixes one can do everything I remember to have read the same kind of "demonstration" showing that Etruscan was Luwian!
aus- and surya/sol/sun are from two unrelated Indo-European words (the second one very complicated indeed); and the first one never used (as long as I remember) for "sun".
But let us not forget that what can be added here is what come from reliable sources, no original research.
That said, I am rather curious: what is the evidence for 'neri' to mean 'water'? (I found the equivalence in Bonfante but not in other books) and the source for Sabin ausil? Dumu Eduba (talk) 12:05, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for your comment.

On nero': I consulted Rocci's dictionary and I agree with you that possibly the solution of the problem lies in the original word i.e. nearos: Rocci says: neeros=nearos fresh Senocr.; subst. neron, neeros water Inscriptions (unspecified). In some cases the exit may have been epsilon. This leaves the possibility open of a Greek loan for E. neri' though.

On ushil: whereas the E. word has certainly no connection with Sk. surya I think I have sufficiently shewn here above that it may be allied to Sk. ushas dawn and Sk. usra- ray.

On ausel Sabin for sun: it is to be found in Varro's Ling. L. V in a passage where the text is corrupt: mss. au vel. Some editors correct ausel as Varro is talking of the words for sun, Lat. and Sab. I ignore if this word is attested anywhere else. The Aurelii were a gens of Sab. origin and they held a gentilician cult of the sun in Rome with the support of the state that assigned a plot of land for the purpose. However the question whether their name had to do with the sun is debated: Dumezil accepts the idea while Latte rejects it as I wrote above. Aus- sparked the image of something shining as gold: cf. old Lat. ausosa, ausum and the other instances I gave.

What I wrote comes from an etymological dictionary of English, no original research!Zanzan32 (talk) 05:05, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

This is definitely not my area of expertise but reading your posts Zanzan, there are so many "maybes" in it, I can't see how any of this is tenable. Akerbeltz (talk) 08:48, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the Sabine reference, Zanzan33. Maybe the reference you were searching for was this by L._Bouke_van_der_Meer.Though Dutch is not the language I best understand.... it seems this is a valid source for the comparison Etr. usil, Sab. ausel; but I recommend to quote Varro's reference, more than simply Sabine; and only like a proposal. The Dutch quote is "Usils - genitivus van Usil, Sol, zon (in het Sabijns: Ausel)."
I could find more data on Chantraine. He quotes Festus "Aurelia (gens) ex Sabinis oriunda a sole dicta", but he proposes a contamination of *ausos from *sauel ('son').
The relationship between *aurora and *sol should be very very distant if any. The root for 'sun' is something like *seHwel/n-yos (heteroclitic root l/n plus suffix -yos in some languages), whereas that for 'gold' and 'aurora' is Hews-os-. It is very different (Dumezil of course was not a linguist). Dumu Eduba (talk) 17:59, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for the reply. I did not succeeded yet in reading the PDF for technical reasons.

Yesterday I was writing by memory and now I checked the texts. As I wrote Dumezil makes reference to Sabine ausel talking of the gentilician cult of the sun of the Aurelii. He writes that ausel is an acceptable correction of mss. unreadable Solauel. The whole passage is as follows: "Solauel quod ita Sabini, vel quod solus ita lucet, ut ex eo deo dies sit." Ling. L. V 68. The text thence should read "Sol ausel quod ita Sabini...".

Now some editors, e.g. The Latin Library online correct the text thus: "Sol vel quod ita Sabini, vel quod solus ita lucet...". It seems to me that both corrections present difficulties. The first gives a Sabine word which is totally different from sol and thus the sense of Varro's passage is unclear. The second leaves the mistake of the amanuensis unexplained: it would not be possible for a simple phrase such the proposed one to run into a mistake.

Festus's gloss (p. 120 L 2nd) is thus quoted by Dumezil: "The Aurelia family of Sabine origin was thus named because the name of the sun, because the Roman people assigned to it at the expense of the state a plot of land in order to celebrate sacrifices to the sun; they were named with a derivate of the name of the sun, Aurelii". Of course the material you and me above have presented suggest rather a connexion with gold or golden shine, glittering.

On Sabine there is an old book in Italian: M.G. Tibiletti Bruno I Sabini e la loro lingus. Bologna 1969 2nd. Also can be worth seeing: Ancellotti & Cerri Le tavole di Gubbio e la civilta' umbra Perugia 1996. I have no access to a library, unfortunately...

On Nero' I think the connexion is very ancient given Neereus who was a god of the sea since Homer: Rocci writes: [snau, neoo, I swim] Homer halios Neereus marine (salty) N.

On the Indo-Aryan superastratum in Mitanni there is an article on Wiki. I also found a good work La diaspora etrusca unsigned online on the history of the E.-Pelasgians in ancient Greek sources. I shall translate some passages on the article E. civ.Zanzan32 (talk) 03:40, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for the Dutch link, Dumu. This stuff looks good.

Chantraine does not look to be spot on: the connexion is not *sauel son but *ausel glitter, golden splendour, (see golden chrysalis above): ausum=gold, ausosa=dawn i.e. golden light.Zanzan32 (talk) 10:22, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Hello again. First of all I must point that it seems I had a laspsus: as I was working with both etymological dictionaries, instead of Chantraine it is Ernout / Meillet.
The question is that we must work on reliable sources (scientific books ans articles), not on what we think. Van der Meer seems a valid reference for the comparison (but I am not sure of what means in he in Dutch).
The Sabine reference is difficult as it is only stated in a gloss. Varro could be quoting an Etruscan loanword. (But, yeah, that is only an oppinion).
The question on Etrusca-Pelasgian-Philistine relationship is well known, as the question on Indo-iranian personal names and technical words in Mitanni (even more to the north, see Scythia)
But, I repeat, we should center the question on what is told in books and articles, and their credibility [too much fringe works on Etruscan, did you now that in Spain the Universidad Complutense it was published a decipherment of Etruscan using a Basque dictionary with complete esoteric results ..... well, it was published by the Medicine faculty).Dumu Eduba (talk) 16:03, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

I read Van der Meer 's whole article, partly because I am interested in the subject of Etruscan and Roman religion (I will read Versnel's too later) reading and guessing.

I have to qualify my earlier good impression: while some of the stuff he presents is quite interesting e.g. the lines from the bronze concerning Uni Thesan Tina Tanachvil Catha and connecting it to Mater Matuta and the Matralia (Pallottino AC 19 1967 p.367), if he is an authority in the field well... : he misread Dumezil, Grenier and did not read Hermanssen and more recent scholarship. He also calls Iohannes Lydus Laurentius?! I know the quotation : de Ostentis 2-3 in which he states the Greek consider Tages a chthonios Hermes. However is a quotable source and I understand your worries...

On the god names of the Piacenza Liver: Cislen is Nocturnus, Cel Terra, Mae Maia Bona Dea not Iuppiter, Tecum perhaps Tellus, Thuflthas perhaps Novensiles (Grenier), Tluscv Sancus (rootstem sak). All original research I must admit, but based on other published works.

Me too I am not clear on the meaning of Dutch het, it occurs very frequently and looks to be an article: wiki has a translation service. I shall ask the help desk.

That said I think his authority on Sabine Ausel is probably Varro LL V 68, passage I quoted above. If you have the opportunity please look up for the book by Tibiletti Bruno. It may be worth its while.Zanzan32 (talk) 07:08, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Dutch het is both the neuter definite article and the neuter third-person pronoun ("it"). --JorisvS (talk) 08:27, 3 September 2010 (UTC)


According to Versnel: gladius, sacer are Etruscan!Zanzan32 (talk) 08:45, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Ernout /Meillet consider 'gladius' Celtic loanword, while 'sacer' can hardly be anything else than Indo-European (has I-E internal flexion in latin sanc-tus", among others, and Hittite sakl-ai).
For usil maybe we could add something lke "maybe related to Sabine ausel ('sun' according to Varro) and add a note to Van der Meer.Dumu Eduba (talk) 09:47, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
BTW, there could be a problem with neri. It is clear that in Etruscan "water" is θi (and from here a "(vase) for water" is θi-na). This word appears in the Liber Linteus and so it looks like neri (which only appears i the Liber Linteus) should be another thing. That neri means water is an ld hypothesis by Pfffig, it is quoted by Bonfante, but in Steinbauer chapter on th Liber Linteus there is no ention to neri as a word of known meaning. Maybe it is unsure is meaning. In fact in the Italian wiki vocabulary of Etruscan] (very large)there is no mention to neri ! Dumu Eduba (talk) 19:53, 3 September 2010 (UTC)


Thank you. Yes I agree on ausel. Versnel's reading is great: he may be right but almost 3/4 of Roman civilisation is Etruscan in his view!

BTW one could also cite Latte Roem. Religionsgesch. p.45 n.1: "Das Sol Kult der aurelier mit den Staatskult des Sol Indiges etwas zu tun hatte, ist unbezeugt. Die Ableitung des Namens von Stamme *aus (der Glanz, nicht Sonne bedeutet) ist mehrdichtig. Quint. 11.2.31 zeigt dass der Roemer dabei an aurora oder Aurum dachte wenn er nicht die verrianische Etymol. Auselii zu sol meint. Vgl. noch Deubner A. Re. W. 33 1936. 12."Zanzan32 (talk) 05:35, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Reading the Pyrgi lamellae: "ita tmia icac Heram asva vatieche Uniastres..." ita apart (L. istod) tmia looks to be Greek temenos.Zanzan32 (talk) 05:42, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Versnel hints to a cult of Aeneas in Etruria. Also interesting the find of an inscription of the III cent. at Lavinium in 1958 "Lare Aineia". What does really Lar mean in Etrurian? So many people were named Larth: it must be a title of respect. Of course in Rome too Titus, Spurius Larcius... But does it have religious menaing too? Martianus: Lars Caelestis, L. Militaris, L. Omnium Cunctalis...In Rome too we have the Lares (gods) but Lar Aineias is Indiges Aeneas. See Livy I and Dion. Hal. I 64, 5.Zanzan32 (talk) 08:44, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Data on ausel only would affect to Sabine language.
Sometimes tmia has been proposed to be related with τεμενος (Pallotino), as the later has been proposed to be related wit Sumerian temen, but both have internal etymologies and, as long as I know, nowadays both alleged relations are not believed.Dumu Eduba (talk) 12:55, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Hesychius glosses αυσηλως (or αυκηλως) as meaning dawn in Etruscan, but probably he counfounded a Italic word (see for example here.
Another uestion is that Varro's reading ausel is dubious and rejected by many. It looks like the text says sola vel ita sabini and some read sol au[s]el ita sabini but most editions read sol uel ita sabini ("Sol or (because) so Sabines or (because)" a search on Google books of ita sabini is clear). So the question on usil: ausel has references, but many caveats.Dumu Eduba (talk) 20:10, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Fully agree on Varro's dubious text and connexion between ausel with ausosa-ushas, not directly with Sk. word for sun. Please read what I wrote above on Varro's text: "Solavel quod ita Sabini...". However please note the connexion cited in the link you prvided: auos, uhas, usra and ush to burn: L. urere, ustio. Moreover your link states clearly both in Etr. and Sabine ushil-ausil meant morning and morning golden light, not sun! I also found that capra means goat according to a gloss (820) in Bonfante.Zanzan32 (talk) 05:21, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

But usil is the text for the image of god Apolo. Dumu Eduba (talk) 12:08, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

And also on the back of the Piacenza Liver with Tivr opposite=Moon ...There must have happened a semantic shift.Zanzan32 (talk) 04:20, 7 September 2010 (UTC)


The Bonfante give Etr. aukelos for dawn as a gloss (from a Greek source: it is too bad they do not quote the source of glosses). So the cognate word to Sabine ausel seems to be this one with identical meaning. Or perhaps the gloss mixed up things.Zanzan32 (talk) 10:57, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Already discussed in my message begining by "Hesychius glosses αυσηλως (or αυκηλως) as meaning dawn".Dumu Eduba (talk) 13:08, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Thank you, I am sorry I forgot your quote. It looks D. J. Williams though gives an important piece of info here: this word aukelos-ausel stems from Sk. ush-allied to Lat. urere to burn. Never mind about Sabine ausel, Etr. ushil is certainly derived from it.Zanzan32 (talk) 04:48, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

You are following a modern perspective. If you look at the Indo-European roots (some millenia before Etruscan and Latin) you will see that the rooy for uro came from H1ews (that is: *ews), but that that of aurora from H2ews- (that is :aws), so they were two different words. Any comparative theory must be done using the oldest stage known. The second question is that usil is the Etruscan god Apolo, while the idea of dawn was very different (she was a minor goddess). Dumu Eduba (talk) 09:57, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for the explanantion. However what you say does not affect the derivation of Etr. ushil from IE rootstem *ews just as Lat. uro. I already implicitly acknowledged that Etr.-Sabine aukel-ausel is a different word, as you say stemmed from IE :aws.

The identification with Apolo is of course consequential as this is a Greek god commonly interpreted as the sun, i.e. a deity Etruscans borrowed.

The identification of aurora with Mater Matuta means she is the mother of the sun, probably an indigitation of Iuno-Uni: cf. Van der Meer's exposition.Zanzan32 (talk) 03:13, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

I apologise to readers: Iohannes Lydus had Laurentius for second name, van der Meer is nort wrong.Zanzan32 (talk) 08:32, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

It looks the question of the hirpi sorani is vexed. It is discussed in G. C. L. Bakkum The Latin Dialect of the Ager Faliscus 2009 online. He considers it to be a cult originating in Sabine territory and the families of these priests at Falerii as being descendents of Sabine immigrants. The ancient sources are Servius Aen. 11, 785 and 788 and Pliny NH 7, 2, 19. The first passage connects them to Dis Pater: "Sorani vero a Dite: nam Ditis Pater Soranus vocatur: quasi lupi Divis Patris". The second passage connects them to Apollo as does Pliny: "...Soractem Apollini super ambustam ligni struem...".

Bakkum thinks the word denoting them, sorex indeed means ghost. Hence stems the confusion made by Dumezil with the sun. Etr. Shura probably is a loan word from Sabine, contrary to what Versnel writes. Versnel also thinks Saturn is an Etr. name given as Satum, always meaning Dis Pater. Of course this idea could be easily supported from the archeological-topographical evidence in Rome.Zanzan32 (talk) 04:09, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

A shared common ancestor language (proto-Indo-European or proto-Boreal or Nostratic - depending on the scholar speaking) is such an obvious possibility. Again, genes and archaeology, trade routes and material culture, should be invoked at some point. No point in talking loan words without considering ancestral languages and shared social contexts where certain loans would occur. LeValley 08:26, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Other words[edit]

Reading Versnel I found:

Lanista: trainer of gladiators (Isidorus X 159);

trossuli, flexuntes, celeres: military corps names;

tebenna : short toga:

arena: (Skeat gives as etym. Old L. hasena, from Sabine fasena though);

Idus: Etr. Itis: Iovis Fiducia (Macrob. I 15, 14) quoted by Bonfante as a gloss; perhaps tis an abbreviation for Tin(ia)s?

Camenae: Musae (Macrob. II 3,4)

Munth: mundus: Fowler cites Nettleship Contributions to Latin Lexicogr. p.258: from root MU enclose, fence. He adds Etr. origin is a similar word citing Mueller Deecke Die Etrusk. II p. 100 n. 65a; Dumezil cites E. Evangelisti in Studi ling. in on. di V. Pisani 1969 p. 347-366;

Porsenna: first;

Reading Defosse:

columna, santerna, mantisa, antemna, favisa, subulo, atrium, subura. It looks subura might derive from Etr. shpura city. It would imply that this region of Rome was an original site of th Etr. settlements: cf. however Varro on Caelius a Caele Vibenna.

Versnel also quotes from Ernout "Les elements etrusques du voc. lat." in Philologia Paris 1946 p. 21ff.:

satura satire, subulo flute, leno pimp, paelex concubine (Greeek via Etr.), taberna inn, cocistrio cook, caupio hotelier, sporta (Greek via Etr.) cotonea big cup, surenae, lucuns baked, vernae fermale domestic slaves, scurrae parasites.

According to Varro LL V:

Thebri(m) name of king of Veii that was given to the river Tiber, disputed by the Latins. Cf. Pyrgi lamellae: Thefariei Velianas.

Talking of the sacraria Argeorum and the 4 regions of Rome : first Suburana: ...parte princeps Caelius mons a Caele Vibenna, Tusco duce nobili, qui cum sua manu dicitur Romulo venisse auxilio contra Tatium regem. ...Vicus Tuscus... ibi Vortumnus deus Etr. princeps. Caeliolum locum: Caeliani qui a suspicione liberi essent traductos in eum locum qui vocatur Caeliolum.Zanzan32 (talk) 05:52, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

From the Italian wiki lexic:

akvil gift alpanu homage alchuvaisera: gift of the gods: may be related to goddess Achaviser described by Benveniste in SE 3 1929 p. 249 ff. as the Samothracian Cabeirian goddess Axieros, depicted with Alpanu Persephone on a scene of a mirror.

Cape/caper capi container, cf. verb capio to contain Lat.

Ceru : founder cf. Cerus Manus in the carmen Saliare and Paulus 's Festi epitome p. 249L 2nd for god Ianus; Latin Goddess Ceres: both from IE rootstem KER I grow.

Zil to live, zusle animal: look related to IE, cf. Russian zhivoij, Greek zoon, allied to Zend ji IE rootstem GWEI.

sacni consecrated: cf. IE SAK

zina to produce: cf. gignoo Gr.Zanzan32 (talk) 04:44, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

On numerals: L. Bonfante writes they are proof Etr. was not IE. There is a similar word for 8 cezp in some Uralic languages: Proto-Samic *kaekcee; Inari Sami kaeaevci; Baltic Proto-Finnic kahteksan; Komi koekjamis. For 3: Mari kum; Komi kuim.Zanzan32 (talk) 04:48, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't see how kahteksan can be cited here, as kahteksan is clearly "2 from 10" (Finnish kahdeksan), as Finnish yhdeksän is "1 from 10". Jpaulm (talk) 02:33, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

On the hirpi sorani: Versnel says they were priests of death god Shuri, represented as wolfdemons on monuments. Dumezil thought they were adepts of the sun from Sabine root sor, Sora etc.

It is intriguing that death god Aite is represented wearing a wolf head hat. Also the Etr. word meaning to die is lupu, which might have engendered a folk etymology among Italic people. However this should have in turn influenced Etruscans and other later representations. Dumezil quotes a work by F. de Ruyt on the subject.Zanzan32 (talk) 05:03, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Great citations/work, Zanzan. There needs to be more of this in the article - seems to me your citations are good and reveal some interesting parts of the history of etruscology's approach to linguistics. Too bad it's not in the article itself, in my view. LeValley 08:29, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Rumon ruma and Leper[edit]

Is rumon the word for river? I found this on the Italian Wiki, but not on the Bonfante's glossary. Servius said the first Etruscan name of the Tiber was rumon. Is it related with ruma breast? And with Gr. reoo I flow, ruma/reuma stream? Rocci says Skt. sru.

I seem to remember the reoo, reuma words started with an 's', cf. "stream", with inserted 't'. Jpaulm (talk) 15:47, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Skt. is sru indeed, though Greek and Italic start with r: cf. rio It. and Sp.; ancient rusa, rosa, It. roggia (this probably not IE).Zanzan32 (talk) 03:36, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Leper occurs often in E. texts, e.g. the roll of Lars Pulena leprnal: E. Peruzzi Civilta' greca nel Lazio preromano identifies it with Liber (Bacchus) on VII century Faliscan inscriptions: also at Gabii the bacchic cult is attested since the same age. Cf. euoin and salvetod tita found on vases there. Needless to say this has great importance for the knowledge of early bacchism in Latium.Zanzan32 (talk) 05:42, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Zanzan32 (talk) 05:29, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Latin words ending in -mn are Etruscan?[edit]

There are many of them: alumnus, Vertumnus, Autumnus, columna, antemna, Pilumnus and Picumnus, Clitumnus. According to Versnel also Volturnus, Saturnus, Iuturna, would be Etr. However while e.g. alumn- is attested in Etr. on Lars Pulena's scroll, the word for Vortumuns was Velthuna. So the Latin ending does not look to reflect regularly an equivalent Etr. ending.Zanzan32 (talk) 04:27, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

I've heard that alumnus is actually an old participle from alō "nourish", analogous to Greek middle or passive participles in -menos, and therefore not from Etruscan. — Eru·tuon 14:25, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. Perhaps it is Etr. that borrowed the Italic word. Perhaps also in other instances as: laive left, eprus much, more than enough (Bonfante): cf. Lat. laevus, Galloitalic pru, apru.Zanzan32 (talk) 03:41, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
As alumnus is a form of Lat. alo, Vertumnus/Vortumnus too should be a form of verto/vorto. In such case as Dumezil suggested it is dubious whether it was really identifiable with Etr. Velthuna. Picumnus and pilumnus too do not look very Etr. as far as I can see: picus, pica, pilum all have a Lat. explainable etymology.Zanzan32 (talk) 03:19, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Alinei and Latypov[edit]

There is website that presents the work of these two scholars, very different from each other, together. Alinei's work looks of some interest. Latypov predicates well but seems to yield to easy language scrambling an fanciful ideas.Zanzan32 (talk) 05:02, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Thupeltha[edit]

I found this listed as a feminine proper name on the glossary of Wiki.it. It looks to be the same as the Thuflthas of the Piacenza liver, the change from f to p being attested as a later development. This identification would support Grenier's interpretation of Thuflthas as Novensiles. In fact this name is to be found on the 2nd cell of the external ring of the liver which can be confronted directly with the dwellers of the 16 regions of heaven given by Martianus Capella (I 41 and 45-46). Now in region two there are just 3 possibly feminine gods, i.e. Fons, Lymphae and Novensiles. Of course one could choose any of the 3 however Latin sources, authors cited by Macrobius (Aelius Stilo and Granius Flaccus) had said the Novensiles were the 9 Musae.

On the other hand Varro says the Etr. called the 9 Musae Casmenae sot he issue is vexed.Zanzan32 (talk) 03:56, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

List of words[edit]

There is a list on wiki, why is it so poorly edited. it would useful to collect all the words and list them with the indication of the provenance and interpretations of scholars.Zanzan32 (talk) 08:56, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Not so easy. Many words are disputed (for example 'neri' as water is not as clear as it could seem; in fact in its inscription there is other word for offering water so it looks like 'neri' is another thing), and the reference to theories should be restricted to only the main authors (otherwise it could end as a new version of the never ending story). Steinbauer has a good lexical list at the end of his book. Dumu Eduba (talk) 16:50, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Is it the one online? I read it but it does not look to be the most complete.Zanzan32 (talk) 03:22, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
(Please feel absolutely free not to answer/comment what follows, I am just mulling it by myself). What about connecting the tmia of the Pyrgi lamellae with Lat. domus, Slavic domia? There is a post that proposes it on another page. On an already discussed matter: is scientifically possible to connect Etr. ushil with Skt. usas dawn and usra ray? Zanzan32 (talk) 03:48, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
The vocabulary section on Steinbauer's book is much greater and complex. On completeness the question is that some sources add speculative on unsure identifications, that among experts there are some differences, and that Steinbauer's book is 11 years old. You can see also the books of Facchetti, who adds many words, but many of them with interrogation signs or as possible plausible meanings.
On connecting words there is always some margin for speculation. Think, for instance, in the much quoted question of "bad" in Persian meaning "bad" (as English) in two language genetically related (though as far relatives) but these two words have no connection (both come from different words). If we did not know anything more about Indo-European we could ask ourselves whether English "burn" and Latin "urere" are related (many languages lost b- before u and -n-us is a frequent suffix in Latin) We know that those are unrelated words, because we can reconstruct their origins and the phonetical evolution of both languages; but if we did not know anything more we could "speculate".
As the saying says: "One flower does not bring spring" so a random resemblance offers too few out of context, additional explanation is needed.
You are proposing relations for words who only have some similar meaning (usil and Usra are maybe too different). Even so, it should be explained the suffix -il. Usil / Hews relation seems very unlikely, I would reject. On tmia IE *dem, maybe or maybe not (probably some author as Georgiev or Adrados has proposed it) but needs more justification.
That said remember that wikipedia is not a place to discuss our opinions, but to add info from reliable sources; you could begin adding material from Steinbauer, Bonfante, and Facchetti (among some others) with the references (hint, some of the books of Facchetti are very cheap and very complete, even if he adds some hypothesis). After reading some of these books (and maybe some others on comparative/ Indo-European linguistics) you will be able to evaluate much better your own hypothesis, and have better ideas. The main caveat is the amount of time needed, that some of us have not. Dumu Eduba (talk) 16:47, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the very detailed answer. I see the point that there can be casual similarities or even identities of words in different languages and with no historical documentation it is impossible to apply a scientific method , i.e. the hypothesis of the relationship on issue cannot be falsified. On usil and usas/usra: I was thinking of a coonection via :aws not via hews i.e. in Etr. could have happened an easy semantic shift, or perhaps as D.J. Williams suggests been influenced by Sabine ausel dawn, golden light.
I found on wiki.en in the list of theonyms: Lethn/am infernal goddess (appears also on the Piacenza Liver). On this I can give an authoritative source contradicting it: it is the equivalent of Latin/Roman goddess Fortuna to whom Servius Tullius (Mastarna) dedicated 3 or 4 temples in Rome. Servius the grammarian testifies Etr. knew her (Aen. II 325). (She was also connected with the cult of M. Matuta by Ovid VI 485 ff.): Pfiffig Religio Etrusca p. 239; Cristofani Tabula Capuana 1995 p. 67 ff. as quoted by O. Sacchi "Il trivaso del Quirinale" in RIDA XLVIII 2001 p. 288.Zanzan32 (talk) 03:59, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Online there is a site listing E. inscriptions but it does not list the old, most well-known, perhaps only the new ones. It is dedicated to H. Rix but looks to be from the USA.Zanzan32 (talk) 04:11, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
True, I found Sacchi who simply states that she is "Fortuna" (as if it was something already known), but I could not find the original reasoning. I say that because (beside other theories as the infernal river Lethe) many researchers say as Bonfante: a divinitiy of unknown genre which according to his (or her) position in the liver of Piacenza was chtonian or infernal. Maybe the Etruscan Fortuna was an chtonian deity? I will try to find more data.Dumu Eduba (talk) 19:03, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Sacchi quotes Coarelli Il foro Boario, who says Fortuna had a strong chthonic and erotic colour. Compare also Ovid Fasti book VI, where he tells the story that Fortuna was Servius's lover and spent the night with him many a time, entering his bedroom through a small window (named fenestella). On usra>usil a sonant could change easily into another and the i could be explained as epenthetic. In Skt. final a is voiceless. BTW how did Sabine ausel(ius) derive from :aws? Cf. Skt. usas Aeolic aos that have no -il. I found a site on comparative linguistics but it deals mainly with Uralic-Turkic linguistics and is very polemic.Zanzan32 (talk) 05:08, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
The case of Letham is confusing. In the book [The Religion of the Etruscans] 2006, Bonfante (p. 11) says he is a god of the Underworld; but Simon (p.58) says that is a deity of unknown genre but that if female seems relate to births (Letham appears in the birth of Menerva) . FInally in the collective work Gli Etruschi (2000 catalogue of the exposition) Torelli speaking on the Piacenza liver, after dealing on gods of the sky (etere) and of earth says this: " l'intervento della divinità "liminale" leθam", "intermedia" tra celo e terra" ( p. 285). It looks like he translates letham as liminal and that consideres that (s)he is between the earth and the sky. As there are so many versions maybe the best would be to delete its chtonic interpretation and let the question open (and in the article on Etruscan religion include a note). Dumu Eduba (talk) 10:02, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
The exact quote of Ovid is Fasti VI 573-578. The fact of the goddess entering Servius Tullius's room by the small window (fenestella) is further testified by the fact that the nearby city Gate was named Porta Fenestella. The detail that the goddess presides on births is relevant as it connects her to the Matralia and to goddess Mater Matuta, with whom she shared the day of her festival (June 11). Sacchi citing Coarelli Il foro boario says the temple of Fortuna was next to that of Mater Matuta and archeological evidence proves there were no temples in the area before the 2nd quarter of of the VI century. Thus even though Matuta was certainly an ancient Latin goddess predating the Etruscan domination of Rome it is apparent that the two cults were related, at least typologically. In the most ancient Fasti it appeares that Fortuna was added in smaller charachters, i.e. at a later date. See the literature cited by Sacchi. However even though I am no expert of Etruscology I think Pfiffig and Cristofani's authority overpowers all others.
On el-ius in auselius, the remark is fruit of my carelessness: it should be the Italic ending -il-is, -el-is, al-is. Zanzan32 (talk) 03:37, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the link, the material is very informative and interesting, even though I do not have a high opinion of N.T. De Grummond and L. Bonfante. Here is an idea that I already had, but the reading of N. De Grummond, who overlooks the point for the main charachters as Vergil and Macrobius, put into focus: these Latin authors (as well as Properce) were Etruscans and it can be assumed that they knew very well their heritage and preserved something of it in their works. The charachters of the Saturnalia are mostly Etruscans (Vettius A. Praetextatus, Albinus Caecina, Avienus), what they say must reflect much of the Etruscan lore: an instance is the substitution of effigies or puppets for humans in sacrifice such as in the Compitalia the pilae for children heads, formerly in use at the time of tarquinius the Proud, or for the Pelasgians under Heracles's advice. It is certain the Etruscans had preserved their religious lore til the end of the Roman empire. On line there is a work by Marta Sordi on the issue on the diverse in RomePDF.Zanzan32 (talk) 15:06, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Dead links[edit]

there are many such links. I advice an overhauling.Zanzan32 (talk) 05:05, 28 September 2010 (UTC)


An instance of bad etruscology by an outstanding etruscologist[edit]

Maris': quote from Wiki.en list of Etruscan theonyms: "...Pallottino refers to the formation of a god by "...fusing groups of beings...into one". Of Mars he says "...the protecting spirits of war, represented as armed heros, tend to coalesce into a single deity, the Etrusco-Roman Mars, on the model of the Greek god Ares".

Is not this pure speculation? Roman Mars is the Sabellic-Oscan Mamers or Mamurius (Properce IV 2 near the end) and it is apparent that the Etruscans borrowed their Maris' from other Italic people. Cf the Lapis Satricanus that cites Mamers along with P. Valerius Publicola, who was of Sabine descent.Zanzan32 (talk) 05:05, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Latin is Mavors I forgot. However I gathered Pfiffig 1975 has already proved that Maris' is not Mars.Zanzan32 (talk) 15:09, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

The issue looks much more complex. Maris' may well be Mars. See G.Hermansen Ueber den italishen und den roemischen Mars 1940 pp.49-82; Dumezil quotes also J. Bayet Les origines de l' Hercule romain 1926 pp. 70-120 "Heracles Hercle dans le domain etrusque" and Hercle'. Etude critique des principaux monuments relatifs a'l'Hercule etrusque 1926 who supports strong influences from the Phoenician Melchart; F. de Ruyt "A' propos de l'interpretation du group etrusque Hercle'-Mlacukh" in Melanges F. Cumont 2, 1936 pp. 665-673. It appears also from Latin authors such as Macrobius Sat. III 12 5 ff. and Varro LL V 66 that Mars was identical with Hercules, especially in Etruria.Zanzan32 (talk) 05:24, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Facchetti on the Lemnian-Etruscan link[edit]

Read an article by G. Facchetti online reviewing a contribution by C. De Simone. I agree that the Tabula Cortonensis is a legal document (as far as I can read it) however Facchetti's assumption that Etruscan speaking Lemninas were Etruscan pirates come from Italy looks not well grounded. Lemnian-Etruscan objects and scattered inscriptions cover more 200 years. Also his assumption that Italian Etruscan religion was different in essence from the Cabirian religion is wrong. The Cabirian Mysteries date back to prehistoric times and form the core both of Greek and Italic religions. Ample proof of this is in the legend of Aeneas and the Roman Penates, the Mysteries of Thebae, Andania and Eleusis and Etruscan religious documents e.g. Lars Pulena's scroll where one can read the names of Hermes Pachanac and Leprnal. To this one can add the Latin testimonies on the Etruscan Penates to be found in Servius D. II 325, Arnobius Adv Nat. III 40 and 43, Festus sv. Tages (they were Fortuna, Ceres, Genius Iovialis and Pales i.e. Hermes). Callimachus said Hermes had Tyrrhenian charachters too in Diegesis VIII 33-40; cf. Varro LL VII 43 Servius D. Aen. XI 543; Macrobius Sat. III 8, 6. On Rome cf. Plutarch Numa XIII; Festus sv. Salio; Servius D. Aen. VIII 285; Dion. Hal. I 23; 69; II 22. The sacred objects taken to Italy by Aeneas were the images of the Great Gods worshipped at Samothrace. Dion. Hal. says the noble boys attending sacrifices were called Camilli by Romulus as those who by the Etruscans were named Cadmiloi and they celebrated the Mysteries in honour of the Curetes and the Great Gods. Dion. Hal. also mentions Myrisilos of Lesbos who wrote that the Etruscans practised the cult of the Great Gods. See also the name of the month Cabreas.Zanzan32 (talk) 04:32, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

I apologise to readers. I misread the beginning of this article as I was reading from the screen. Facchetti here presents a view of De Simone's in order to reject it, i.e. he considers the above hypothesis on the origin of the Lemnians a wrong assumption. I agree with his view. On the second issue I reflected the author's views correctly even if he is quoting from Beschi. On the influence and relevance in Italy of the Samothrace Mysteries add Varro LL V 58 ff. in which the whole theological structure of Roman religion is founded on the Cabeirian Hermetism. Also VII 14 citing 3 fragments of Accius, who describes Lemnos as the island of the Cabirum and Volcanus and of the smoke of the furnaces. Zanzan32 (talk) 08:24, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Zavaroni's site[edit]

I wish to signal this site because it makes available almost all the extant Etruscan texts and is a critical edition, giving variant readings for the disputed passages. It compares the major editions and is very critical of Rix's readings.Zanzan32 (talk) 08:42, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Copy edit needed[edit]

I hope to find time to do this, but if not, perhaps someone else will clean it up. Etruscan should be capitalized all the way through, for example. There are other punctuation and capitalization problems. LeValley 08:36, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Etruscan language and names.[edit]

There are indicators of possible Asian influence in the names.

1. Etruscan an agglutinative language like Sumerian and Turkic languages.

2. Tarquinus is a possible cognate of "Tarkan" a common Turkic name.

3. Tyrhhenian a possible cognate of Turanian.

4. Rasena a link to Asena the she wolf legend of central Asia which interestingly appears in Etruscan legend also when Romulus and Remus are suckled by a she wolf.

This is what we call original research, see WP:OR and really does not belong here as this is not a forum where we can discuss the Etruscan language. Dougweller (talk) 04:57, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Another perspective?[edit]

Etruscan This could be an original research but some guy found a possibility that Etruscan is a secret language. Komitsuki (talk) 03:17, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

The net abounds with cranks like this. Nothing of encyclopedic value here. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 08:21, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Limiting to Reliable Sources[edit]

This article uses non-reliable sources too heavily. For example, Woudhuizen and Robertson both appear to be unpublished. At least Woudhuizen's paper was accepted as a PhD dissertation from a reputable university. For Robertson, I see no indication at all of where this paper comes from or who Robertson is. Of course, this doesn't mean that they're wrong. But it does mean that the statements that are sourced from these works don't belong in Wikipedia. --Macrakis (talk) 22:39, 10 July 2013 (UTC)


^ Robertson, Ed (2006). Etruscan's genealogical linguistic relationship with Nakh–Daghestanian: a preliminary evaluation (PDF). Retrieved 2009-07-13.

Rather than deleting material like this it should just be attributed in the text: "In an unpublished doctoral thesis, John Smith says..." μηδείς (talk) 19:58, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
If you are worried about reliable sources, I can assure you ("A relationship with Albanian in particular has been advanced by Zecharia Mayani,[24] but Albanian is known to be an Indo-European language") Mayani's book (I got it for a dollar at a used book store by Columbia University) is utter crankitude of the lowest type, with huge ad hoc arguments made to compare vaguely similar words with no regular correspondences given. I'd be happy to switch her into a fringe theory section. Deleting her might be bad, since people who find her book and come here won't get a proper criticism of it. μηδείς (talk) 20:02, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
The other issue is why are we using them? See WP:UNDUE - how are there views significant - which means who takes them seriously enough to discuss them? Dougweller (talk) 20:48, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree. The article is supposed to be about what we know about the Etruscan language, not a survey of all crank theories about the Etruscan language. Some fringe theories, however, are worth mentioning simply because they are widely known. This may be true of Mayani (the query [mayani etruscan] gets 79 hits on Google Books). These are useful to the reader because they show that the Wikipedia editors are aware of the work, consider it fringe, and have not omitted it accidentally.
A Google Book Search on Woudhuizen seems to show that he actually does have a scholarly track record of publishing about Etruscan; maybe a reliable source can be found for the point in the article. Robertson's name is unfortunately too common to allow that trick, but [Nakh–Daghestanian etruscan robertson] finds nothing relevant.
But in general, I agree with Dougweller that we should not give undue significance to random fringe theories. --Macrakis (talk) 00:42, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Etruscan is actually a unique case, since the fringe theories themselves make the topic notable. We certainly wouldn't publish a fringe theory that Hungarian's closest relative is Sumerian, as we know that's unequivocally false. But the various theories like Nakh Daghestanian aren't too bad in this case as long as they are both attributed and marked as extremely speculative. A link here to the claim in the article and a link here in this discussion to the pdf would be helpful. μηδείς (talk) 01:09, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Here's the working link to the pdf http://www.nostratic.net/books/(329)EGRWND.pdf μηδείς (talk) 01:32, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I already found that, but it means nothing. It is a PDF of a paper showing an author named Robertson. Who is Robertson? Who takes the paper seriously? No idea. --Macrakis (talk) 03:05, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Vocabulary[edit]

I deleted the list of words supposed to be of Etruscan origin as I find the authority lacking. It looks as sheer speculation. I am learning little by little that the issue of ancient etymologies in the ancient Mediterranean is a highly specialstic and difficult topic, and the opinions expressed in the section look fanciful and childish.Aldrasto11 (talk) 04:26, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

James J. Bateson: If you took the pain to read here you would not write unexplained removal of content. None of the words you list is certainly Etruscan, only perhaps it was borrowed by latin Through Etruscan as in the case of persona. Hasena or fasena is Sabine. Please try to study a bit the topic before making such unwarranted additions. If you do not delete the list by yourself I will ask for an arbitration.Aldrasto11 (talk) 08:29, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
If you have doubts about specific words, tag them. Note every one is reffed and linked. Deleting the section is absurd. μηδείς (talk) 19:21, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Offering this without prejudice (I've no expertise and very little experience in linguistic fields): some of the disputed entries are cited inline to various pages of "Breyer (1993)"; no title, or publisher. My own search in google-scholar yields works that cite "Breyer (1993)"; again, no title or publisher. That doesn't give readers opportunity (per policy) to verify. Not sure about etymonline; sometimes fine, but not necessarily authoritative, and doesn't always give its sources. Haploidavey (talk) 19:42, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
The same problem exists with the Brix citation, which I suspect goes to the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Ancient Languages. This seems to be the result of early splitting of articles and paragraphs without care to retain citations. μηδείς (talk) 19:48, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
"Breyer (1993)" might refer to this - it seems to have been published in several volumes. It also seems to have been cited by several, but not listed as cited by google... et voila!... "Breyer, Gertraud. 1993. Etruskisches Sprachgut im Lateinischen unter Ausschluss des spezifisch onomastischen ereiches. Leuven: Peeters". Unfortunately, it's not available online; nor to me. So good luck with that. While I'm here, on this long dull Saturday night, with nothing much to do - are you sure about "Brix" [sic]? I can't find the name anywhere in the article. .Haploidavey (talk) 20:40, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
That was Rix, Helmut. He treats the Tyrsenian membership of Etruscan as uncontroversial in the Cambridge Encyclopedia, and quotes Rix, 1998. I am unaware of any source that claims that Lemnian and Rhaetic do not form a small, obvious family with Etruscan. μηδείς (talk) 21:02, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Still worth citing in full. It's probably the work at the top of this search. Haploidavey (talk) 21:13, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
It's the second: "Rix, H. (1998). Rätisch und Etruskisch (Vol. 68). Institut Fur Sprachwissenschaft Der Universitat Innsbruck."