Milyan language

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Lycian B
RegionLycia, Anatolia
EraFirst millennium BCE
Lycian script
Language codes
ISO 639-3imy

Milyan, also known as Lycian B and previously Lycian 2, is an ancient Anatolian language formerly regarded as a variety of Lycian, but now accorded status as a separate language. It is attested from two inscriptions, one of 45 syllables on the Xanthus Stele, and the other, shorter, from a sarcophagus at Antiphellus. The Xanthus inscription is in verse, with strophes marked off by the use of ⟨)⟩. In 1999 the Dutch scholar Alric van den Broek wrote an MA thesis at the Leiden University on the probable metric features of the Lycian B text of the Xanthos stele. Using Ivo Hajnal’s definitions of Lycian B syllables, he indicated that there is a significantly high number of word boundaries around the 11th, 22nd and 33rd syllable before (on the left side of) the phrase ending sign <)>. Therefore, he argued, the text must have been a poem with four lines per phrase – the first one being either 7(+/-1) or 11(+/-1) syllables long and the last three lines counting 11(+/-1) syllables. Moreover, the metrical foot may have counted four syllables, with accents on syllables one, five and nine of each verse. His model also seemed to fit the few things we know of Lycian, Anatolian and Proto-Indo-European accent. [2]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Milyan". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Pedersen, Holger; Caroline C. Henriksen; E. F. K. Koerner (1983). A glance at the history of linguistics: with particular regard to the historical study of phonology: Holger Pedersen (1867-1953). studies in the history of the language sciences 7. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 27.

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