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Proto-Italic language

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Proto-Italic
Reconstruction ofItalic languages
RegionItalian Peninsula
Erac. 1000 BC
Reconstructed
ancestor
Lower-order reconstructions
  • Proto-Latino-Faliscan
  • Proto-Sabellic

The Proto-Italic language is the ancestor of the Italic languages, most notably Latin and its descendants, the Romance languages. It is not directly attested in writing, but has been reconstructed to some degree through the comparative method. Proto-Italic descended from the earlier Proto-Indo-European language.[1]

History[edit]

Although an equation between archeological and linguistic evidence cannot be established with certainty, the Proto-Italic language is generally associated with the Terramare (1700–1150 BC) and Villanovan cultures (900–700 BC).[2]

On the other hand, work in glottochronology has argued that Proto-Italic split off from the western Proto-Indo-European dialects some time before 2500 BC.[3][4] It was originally spoken by Italic tribes north of the Alps before they moved south into the Italian Peninsula during the second half of the 2nd millennium BC. Linguistic evidence also points to early contacts with Celtic tribes and Proto-Germanic speakers.[2]

Development[edit]

A list of regular phonetic changes from Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Italic follows. Because Latin is the only well-attested Italic language, it forms the main source for the reconstruction of Proto-Italic. It is therefore not always clear whether certain changes apply to all of Italic (a pre-PI change), or only to Latin (a post-PI change), because of lack of conclusive evidence.

Obstruents[edit]

  • Palatovelars merged with plain velars, a change termed centumization.
    • *ḱ > *k
    • *ǵ > *g
    • *ǵʰ > *gʰ
    • Sequences of palatovelars and *w merged with labiovelars: *ḱw, *ǵw, *ǵʰw > *kʷ, *gʷ, *gʷʰ
  • *p...kʷ > *kʷ...kʷ, a change also found in Celtic.
  • Labiovelars lose their labialisation before a consonant: *kʷC, *gʷC, *gʷʰC > *kC, *gC, *gʰC.
  • Obstruent consonants become (unaspirated) voiceless before another voiceless consonant (usually *s or *t).
  • Voiced aspirates become fricatives. Word-initially, they become voiceless, while they are allophonically voiced word-medially. Judging from Oscan evidence, they apparently remained fricatives even after a nasal consonant. In most other Italic languages they developed into stops later in that position.
    • *bʰ > *f (medially *β)
    • *dʰ > *θ (medially *ð)
    • *gʰ > *x (medially *ɣ)
    • *gʷʰ > *xʷ (medially *ɣʷ)
  • *s was also allophonically voiced to *z word-medially.[5]
  • *sr, *zr > *θr, *ðr.[clarification needed]
  • *θ, *xʷ > *f. Found in Venetic vhagsto/hvagsto (compare Latin faciō). The voiced allophones *ð and *ɣʷ remained distinct from *β in Latin and Venetic, but also merged in Osco-Umbrian.
  • *tl > *kl word-medially.[5]
  • Final *t became *d [6]

Vowels and sonorants[edit]

  • *l̥, *r̥ > *ol, *or[7]
  • *m̥, *n̥ > *əm, *ən (see below on "Vowels")
  • *j is lost between vowels. The resulting vowels in hiatus contract into a long vowel if the two vowels are the same.
  • *ew > *ow.[7]
  • *o > *a before labials and *l.
  • *-mj- > -*nj- [8]

Laryngeals[edit]

The laryngeals are a class of hypothetical PIE sounds *h₁, *h₂, *h₃ that usually disappeared in late PIE, leaving coloring effects on adjacent vowels. Their disappearance left some distinctive sound combinations in Proto-Italic. In the changes below, the # follows standard practice in denoting a word boundary; that is, # at the beginning denotes word-initial.[9] H denotes any of the three laryngeals.

The simpler Italic developments of laryngeals are shared by many other Indo-European branches:

  • *h₁e > *e, *h₂e > *a, *h₃e > *o
  • *eh₁ > *ē, *eh₂ > *ā, *eh₃ > *ō
  • *H > *a between obstruents
  • Laryngeals are lost word-initially before a consonant.

More characteristic of Italic are the interactions of laryngeals with sonorant consonants. Here, R represents a sonorant, and C a consonant.

  • #HRC > #aRC and CHRC > CaRC, but #HRV > #RV
  • CRHC > CRāC, but CRHV > CaRV
  • CiHC and probably CHiC > CīC

Morphology[edit]

  • General loss of the dual, with only a few relics remaining.[10]
  • Loss of the instrumental case.[10]

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Proto-Italic consonants[11]
Bilabial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Labial–velar
Nasal m n (ŋ)
Plosive p  b t  d k  ɡ   ɡʷ
Fricative ɸ  (β) θ?  ð? s  (z) x  (ɣ) ?  ɣʷ?
Trill r
Lateral l
Approximant j w
  • [ŋ] was an allophone of /n/ before a velar consonant.
  • The voiced fricatives [β], [ð], [ɣ], [ɣʷ] and [z] were in complementary distribution with word-initial voiceless fricatives [ɸ], [θ], [x], [xʷ] and [s], and were thus originally simply allophones of each other. However, at some point in the Proto-Italic period, the allophony was somewhat disrupted by the loss of the voiceless allophones [θ] and [xʷ], which merged with [ɸ]. Scholars[who?] disagree on whether to reconstruct Proto-Italic with the phonemes ~ ð/ and /xʷ ~ ɣʷ/ still present (hence assuming that the merger with [ɸ] was a later areal change that spread across all extant dialects, possibly occurring simultaneous with or after the loss of the corresponding voiced fricatives), or to reconstruct Proto-Italic with the phonemes' voiceless allophones merged into ~ β/, and their voiced allophones becoming independent phonemes /ð/, /ɣʷ/. Both of these sounds are relatively uncommon cross-linguistically, and eventually they were eliminated in all later languages, but differently in each.

Vowels[edit]

Short vowels[11]
Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e (ə) o
Open a
Long vowels[11]
Front Central Back
Close
Mid
Open
  • /ə/ was perhaps not a true phoneme, but was inserted before consonants as a prop vowel. It can be reconstructed based on the outcome of the Proto-Indo-European syllabic nasals *m̥ and *n̥, which appear in Latin as *em, *en or *im, *in, but also as *am, *an in Osco-Umbrian alongside *em, *en. Thus, it appears necessary to reconstruct /ə/ as a distinct sound. However, Meiser reconstructs a nasal vowel /ẽ/ as this prop vowel, citing how Old French /ẽ/ evolved to modern French /ɑ̃/ as a parallel.[12]

Proto-Italic had the following diphthongs:[11]

  • Short: *ai, *ei, *oi, *au, *ou
  • Long: *āi, *ēi, *ōi

Osthoff's law remained productive in Proto-Italic. This caused long vowels to shorten when they were followed by a sonorant and another consonant in the same syllable: VːRC > VRC. As the long diphthongs were also VːR sequences, they could only occur word-finally, and were shortened elsewhere. Long vowels were also shortened before word-final *-m. This is the cause of the many occurrences of short *-a- in, for example, the endings of the ā-stems or of ā-verbs.

Prosody[edit]

Proto-Italic words may have had a fixed stress on the first syllable, a stress pattern which probably existed in most descendants in at least some periods. In Latin, initial stress is posited for the Old Latin period, after which it gave way to the "Classical" stress pattern. However, fixed initial stress may alternatively be an areal feature postdating Proto-Italic, since the vowel reductions which it is posited to explain are not found before the mid-first millennium BC.[13]

Furthermore, the persistence of Proto-Indo-European mobile accent is required in early Proto-Italic for Brent Vine's (2006) reformulation of Thurneysen-Havet's law (where pre-tonic *ou > *au) to work.[14]

Grammar[edit]

Nouns[edit]

Nouns could have one of three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. They declined for seven of the eight Proto-Indo-European cases: nominative, vocative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative and locative. The instrumental case had been lost. Nouns also declined for number in singular and plural. The dual number was no longer distinguished, although a few remnants (like Latin duo, ambō) still preserved some form of the inherited dual inflection.

o-stems[edit]

This class corresponds to the second declension of Latin. It descends from the Proto-Indo-European thematic declension. Most nouns in this class were masculine or neuter, but there may have been some feminine nouns as well.

o-stem declension[15]
*agros[16] m.
"field"
*jugom[17] n.
"yoke"
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative *agros *agrōs
( *agroi)
*jugom *jugā
Vocative *agre *agrōs
( *agroi)
Accusative *agrom *agrons
Genitive *agrosjo
*agrī
*agrom *jugosjo
*jugī
*jugom
Dative *agrōi *agrois *jugōi *jugois
Ablative *agrōd *jugōd
Locative *agroi?
*agrei?
*jugoi?
*jugei?
  • The genitive singular in * is of unknown origin, but is found in both Italic and Celtic. It mostly ousted the older inherited genitive in *-osjo in Latin. The older form is found in a few inscriptions, such as popliosio valesiosio on the Lapis Satricanus, likely rendered as Publii Valerii in classical Latin.[18] It is also continued in some pronominal genitives, such as cuius < *kʷojjo-s < *kʷosjo, with *-s added by analogy with the consonant stem genitive in *-os.[19] In Osco-Umbrian, neither ending survives, being replaced with *-eis, the i-stem ending.
  • The nominative plural was originally *-ōs for nouns and adjectives, and *-oi for pronominal forms. The distribution in Proto-Italic is unclear, but both endings certainly still existed. The *-ōs ending was replaced altogether in Latin in favour of *-oi, whence the classical . In Osco-Umbrian, the reverse happened, where *-oi was replaced with *-ōs, whence Oscan -ús, Umbrian -us.
  • In Old Latin, the genitive plural was still generally -om, later -um. It was then reformed based on the ā-stem form *-āzom, giving the classical -ōrum.

ā-stems[edit]

This class corresponds to the first declension of Latin. It derives primarily from Proto-Indo-European nouns in *-eh₂-, and contained mostly feminine nouns, but maybe a few masculines.

ā-stem declension[20]
*toutā[21] f.
"people, populace"
Singular Plural
Nominative *toutā *toutās
Vocative *touta
Accusative *toutām *toutans
Genitive *toutās *toutāzom
Dative *toutāi *toutais
Ablative *toutād
Locative *toutāi
  • The accusative singular ending would have been *-am originally, due to shortening of long vowels before final *-m. However, a long vowel is found in the attested forms. This long vowel most likely arose by analogy with the other endings that have a long vowel.[22]
  • The genitive plural ending was originally a pronominal form, PIE *-eh₂-soHom.

Consonant stems[edit]

This class contained nouns with stems ending in a variety of consonants. They included root nouns, n-stems, r-stems, s-stems and t-stems among others. It corresponds to the third declension of Latin, which also includes the i-stems, originally a distinct class.

Masculine and feminine nouns declined alike, while neuters had different forms in the nominative/accusative/vocative.

Consonant stem declension[23]
*sniks[24] f.
"snow"
*kord[25] n.
"heart"
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative-Vocative *sniks *sniɣʷes *kord *kordā
Accusative *sniɣʷəm *sniɣʷəns
Genitive *sniɣʷes
*sniɣʷos
*sniɣʷom *kordes
*kordos
*kordom
Dative *sniɣʷei *sniɣʷ(?)βos *kordei *kord(?)βos
Ablative *sniɣʷi
(*sniɣʷa?)
*kordi
(*korda?)
Locative *sniɣʷi *kordi

Nouns in this class often had a somewhat irregular nominative singular form. This created several subtypes, based on the final consonant of the stem.

  • For most consonant stem nouns, the ending of the nominative/vocative singular was -s for masculine and feminine nouns. This ending would cause devoicing, delabialisation and/or hardening of the stem-final consonant, as seen in *sniks above. Neuter nouns had no ending.
  • n-stems generally had the ending *-ō, with the infix *-on- (or maybe *-en-) in the other cases. Neuters had *-ən in the nom/voc/acc singular, while the stem of the remaining forms is unclear.
  • r-stems had *-ēr, alternating with *-(e)r-. The alternation in vowel length was lost in Latin, but is preserved in Oscan.
  • s-stems had *-ōs (for masculines and feminines) or *-os (for neuters). This alternated with *-ez- (or maybe *-oz- in some masculine/feminine nouns) in the other forms.
  • The r/n-stems were a small group of neuter nouns. These had *-or in the nominative/vocative/accusative singular, but *-(e)n- in the remaining forms.

Other notes:

  • The genitive singular had two possible endings. Both are attested side by side in Old Latin, although the ending -es/-is may also be from the i-stems (see below). In Osco-Umbrian, only the i-stem ending -eis is found.
  • The Latin masculine nominative plural ending -ēs (with a long vowel) was taken from the i-stems.
  • The neuter nominative/vocative/accusative plural originally had short *-a as the ending, or lengthening of the vowel before the final consonant. Already in Italic, this was replaced with the o-stem ending *-ā.
  • The dative (and ablative/locative?) plural ending would have originally been added directly to the stem, with no intervening vowel. In Latin, there is an intervening -e- or -i-, while in Osco-Umbrian the ending is replaced altogether. It's not clear what the Proto-Italic situation was.

i-stems[edit]

This class corresponds to the nouns of the Latin third declension that had the genitive plural ending -ium (rather than -um). In Latin, the consonant stems gradually merged with this class. This process continued into the historical era; e.g. in Caesar's time (c. 50 BC) the i-stems still had a distinct accusative plural ending -īs, but this was replaced with the consonant-stem ending -ēs by the time of Augustus (c. AD 1). In Proto-Italic, as in the other Italic languages, i-stems were still very much a distinct type and showed no clear signs of merging.

Masculine and feminine nouns declined alike, while neuters had different forms in the nominative/accusative/vocative.

Endings[26]
*məntis[27] f.
"mind"
*mari[28] n.
"sea, lake"
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative-Vocative *məntis *məntēs *mari *mar (*-īā?)
Accusative *məntim *məntins
Genitive *mənteis
*məntjes
*məntjom *mareis
*marjes
*marjom
Dative *məntēi *məntiβos *marēi *mariβos
Ablative *məntīd *marīd
Locative *məntei *marei
  • There were apparently two different forms for the genitive singular. The form -eis is found in Osco-Umbrian. However, -es appears in early Latin, while there is no sign of *-eis. This could reflect the consonant-stem ending, but it could also come from *-jes.[29] Compare also *-wos of the u-stems, which is attested in Old Latin, and may represent a parallel formation.
  • The original form of the neuter nominative/vocative/accusative plural was *-ī. Already in Italic, this was extended by adding the o-stem ending to it.

u-stems[edit]

This class corresponds to the fourth declension of Latin. They were historically parallel to the i-stems, and still showed many similar forms, with j/i being replaced with w/u. However, sound changes had made them somewhat different over time.

Endings[30]
*portus[31] m.
"harbour, port"
*kornu/ū[32] n.
"horn"
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative-Vocative *portus *portous?
*portowes?
*kornu? (*?) *korn (*-ūā?)
Accusative *portum *portuns
Genitive *portous
*portwos
*portwes
*portwom *kornous
*kornwos
*kornwes
*kornwom
Dative *portowei *portuβos *kornowei *kornuβos
Ablative *portūd *kornūd
Locative *portowi? *kornowi?
  • The neuter nominative/vocative/accusative singular must have originally been short *-u, but in Latin only long is found. It is unclear what the origin of this could be. It may be a remnant of a dual ending, considering that neuter u-stems were rare, and the few that survived tended to occur in pairs.[33]
  • Like the i-stems, the u-stems had two possible types of genitive singular ending, with an unclear distribution. *-ous is found in Oscan, and it is also the origin of the usual Latin ending -ūs. However, the Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus inscription attests senatvos, and the ending -uis (from *-wes) is also found in a few sources.[34]
  • The masculine/feminine nominative/vocative plural is not securely reconstructable. Latin -ūs seems to reflect *-ous, but from PIE *-ewes the form *-owes (Latin *-uis) would be expected. The ending is not attested in Osco-Umbrian or Old Latin, which might have otherwise given conclusive evidence.[35]
  • The original form of the neuter nominative/vocative/accusative plural was *-ū. Already in Italic, this was extended by adding the o-stem ending to it, like in the i-stems.

Adjectives[edit]

Adjectives inflected much the same as nouns. Unlike nouns, adjectives did not have inherent genders. Instead, they inflected for all three genders, taking on the same gender-form as the noun they referred to.

Adjectives followed the same inflectional classes of nouns. The largest were the o/ā-stem adjectives (which inflected as o-stems in the masculine and neuter, and as ā-stems in the feminine), and the i-stems. Present active participles of verbs (in *-nts) and the comparative forms of adjectives (in *-jōs) inflected as consonant stems. There were also u-stem adjectives originally, but they had been converted to i-stems by adding i-stem endings onto the existing u-stem, thus giving the nominative singular *-wis.

Pronouns[edit]

Declension of Personal Pronouns:[36]

Singular 1st Person 2nd Person Reflexive
Nominative *egō *
Accusative *, *me *, *te *, *se
Genitive *moi, *mei *toi, *tei *soi, *swei
Dative *meɣei *teβei *seβei
Ablative *med *ted *sed
Possessive *meos *towos *sowos
Plural 1st Person 2nd Person Reflexive
Nominative *nōs *wōs
Accusative *nōs *wōs *, *se
Genitive *nosterom? *westerom? *soi, *swei
Dative *nōβei *wōβei *seβei
Ablative *sed
Possessive *nosteros *westeros *sowos

Note: For the third person pronoun, Proto-Italic *is would have been used.

Declension of Relative Pronouns:[37]

Singular Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative *kʷoi *kʷod *kʷāi
Accusative
Genitive *kʷojjos < *kʷosjo
Dative *kʷojjei, *kʷozmoi
Ablative *kʷōd *kʷād
Locative ? ? ?
Plural Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative *kʷoi, *kʷōs *kʷā, *kʷai *kʷās
Accusative *kʷons *kʷāns
Genitive *kʷozom *kʷazom
Dative *kʷois
Ablative
Locative

Declension of Interrogative Pronouns:[37]

Singular Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative *kʷis *kʷid
Accusative *kʷim
Genitive *kʷejjos
Dative *kʷejjei, *kʷezmoi
Ablative *kʷōd *kʷād *kʷōd
Locative ? ? ?
Plural Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative *kʷēs *kʷēs *kʷī, *kʷia
Accusative *kʷins *kʷins
Genitive *kʷejzom?, *kʷozom?
Dative *kʷiβos
Ablative
Locative

Declension of Demonstrative Pronouns:[38]

*is "this, that"

Singular Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative *is *id *ejā
Accusative *im *ejām
Genitive *ejjos
Dative *ejjei, *esmoi
Ablative *ejōd *ejād
Locative ? ? ?
Plural Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative *ejōs, *ejoi *ejā *ejās
Accusative *ejons *ejans
Genitive *ejozom *ejazom
Dative *ejois *ejais
Ablative
Locative ? ? ?

Verbs[edit]

Present Aspect[39]

From Proto-Indo-European, the Proto-Italic present aspect changed in a couple of ways. Firstly, a new past indicative suffix of *-β- was created. This likely occurred due to the elision of word-final *i within the Indo-European primary verb endings (E.g. PIE Present Indicative *h₁ésti > PIt *est, but also PIE Past Indicative *h₁ést). Secondly, the desiderative suffix of *-s-/-so- became the future suffix in Proto-Italic. The subjunctive of this desiderative-future, with a suffix of both -s- and a lengthening of the following vowel, was used to represent a potentialis and irrealis mood. Finally, while the subjunctive and the optative of PIE were still in principle different moods, the moods became merged in Post-PIt developments (E.g. PIt subjunctive *esed vs optative *siēd which became Latin present subjunctive sit); this can be already seen in the Proto-Italic phase, where the subjunctive mood began to take secondary endings as opposed to the primary endings they exhibited in PIE (c.f. the Sabellian reflex of the PIt 3rd person singular imperfect subjunctive being -d and not *-t).

The PIE dual person was also lost within PIt verbs just as it was in PIt nouns.

First Conjugation

This Conjugation pattern was derived from the PIE suffix *-eh₂-yé-ti, and formed primarily denominative verbs (I.e. deriving from a noun or an adjective).

Example Conjugation: *dōnā- (to give)[40]

1st. Sing. 2nd. Sing. 3rd. Sing. 1st. Plur. 2nd. Plur. 3rd. Plur.
Present Active Indicative *dōnāō *dōnās *dōnāt *dōnāmos *dōnātes *dōnānt
Present Passive Indicative *dōnāor *dōnāzo *dōnātor *dōnāmor *dōnāmenai *dōnāntor
Past Active Indicative *dōnāβam *dōnāβas *dōnāβad *dōnāβamos *dōnāβates *dōnāβand
Past Passive Indicative *dōnāβar *dōnāβazo *dōnāβator *dōnāβamor *dōnāβamenai *dōnāβantor
Future Active Indicative *dōnāsō *dōnāses *dōnāst *dōnāsomos *dōnāstes *dōnāsont
Future Passive Indicative *dōnāsor *dōnāsezo *dōnāstor *dōnāsomor *dōnāsemenai *dōnāsontor
Present Active Subjunctive *dōnāōm *dōnāēs *dōnāēd *dōnāōmos *dōnāētes *dōnāōnd
Present Passive Subjunctive *dōnāōr *dōnāēzo *dōnāētor *dōnāōmor *dōnāēmenai *dōnāōntor
Past Active Subjunctive *dōnāsōm *dōnāsēs *dōnāsēd *dōnāsōmos *dōnāsētes *dōnāsōnd
Past Passive Subjunctive *dōnāsōr *dōnāsēzo *dōnāsētor *dōnāsōmor *dōnāsēmenai *dōnāsōntor
Active Optative *dōnāojam *dōnāojas *dōnāojad *dōnāojamos *dōnāojates *dōnāojand
Passive Optative *dōnāojar *dōnāojazo *dōnāojator *dōnāojamor *dōnāojamenai *dōnāojantor
Present Active Imperative *dōnā *dōnāte
Passive Active Imperative *dōnāzo
Future Active Imperative *dōnātōd
Participles Present Past
Tense *dōnānts *dōnātos
Verbal Nouns tu-derivative s-derivative
Type *dōnātum *dōnāzi

Second Conjugation Causative

This conjugation pattern was derived from PIE *-éyeti, and formed causative verbs (I.e. expressing a cause) from "basic" 3rd conjugation verbs.

Example Conjugation: *mone- (to warn)[41]

1st. Sing. 2nd. Sing. 3rd. Sing. 1st. Plur. 2nd. Plur. 3rd. Plur.
Present Active Indicative *moneō *monēs *monēt *monēmos *monētes *moneont
Present Passive Indicative *moneor *monēzo *monētor *monēmor *monēmenai *moneontor
Past Active Indicative *monēβam *monēβas *monēβad *monēβamos *monēβates *monēβand
Past Passive Indicative *monēβar *monēβazo *monēβator *monēβamor *monēβamenai *monēβantor
Future Active Indicative *monēsō *monēses *monēst *monēsomos *monēstes *monēsont
Future Passive Indicative *monēsor *monēsezo *monēstor *monēsomor *monēsemenai *monēsontor
Present Active Subjunctive *moneōm *moneēs *moneēd *moneōmos *moneētes *moneōnd
Present Passive Subjunctive *moneōr *moneēzo *moneētor *moneōmor *moneēmenai *moneōntor
Past Active Subjunctive *monesōm *monesе̄s *monesе̄d *monesōmos *monesе̄tes *monesōnd
Past Passive Subjunctive *monesōr *monesе̄zo *monesе̄tor *monesōmor *monesе̄menai *monesōntor
Active Optative *moneojam *moneojas *moneojad *moneojamos *moneojates *moneojand
Passive Optative *moneojar *moneojazo *moneojator *moneojamor *moneojamenai *moneojantor
Present Active Imperative *monē *monēte
Passive Active Imperative *monēzo
Future Active Imperative *monētōd
Participles Present Past
Tense *monēnts *monetos
Verbal Nouns tu-derivative s-derivative
Type *monetum *monēzi

Second Conjugation Stative

This conjugation pattern was derived from PIE *-éh₁ti (or the extended form *-eh₁yéti), and formed stative verbs (I.e. indicating a state of being).

Example Conjugation: *walē- (to be strong)[42]

1st. Sing. 2nd. Sing. 3rd. Sing. 1st. Plur. 2nd. Plur. 3rd. Plur.
Present Active Indicative *walēō *walēs *walēt *walēmos *walētes *walēnt
Present Passive Indicative *walēor *walēzo *walētor *walēmor *walēmenai *walēntor
Past Active Indicative *walēβam *walēβas *walēβad *walēβamos *walēβates *walēβand
Past Passive Indicative *walēβar *walēβazo *walēβator *walēβamor *walēβamenai *walēβantor
Future Active Indicative *walēsō *walēses *walēst *walēsomos *walēstes *walēsont
Future Passive Indicative *walēsor *walēsezo *walēstor *walēsomor *walēsemenai *walēsontor
Present Active Subjunctive *walēōm *walēēs *walēēd *walēōmos *walēētes *walēōnd
Present Passive Subjunctive *walēōr *walēēzo *walēētor *walēōmor *walēēmenai *walēōntor
Past Active Subjunctive *walēsōm *walēsе̄s *walēsе̄d *walēsōmos *walēsе̄tes *walēsōnd
Past Passive Subjunctive *walēsōr *walēsе̄zo *walēsе̄tor *walēsōmor *walēsе̄menai *walēsōntor
Active Optative *walēojam *walēojas *walēojad *walēojamos *walēojates *walēojand
Passive Optative *walēojar *walēojazo *walēojator *walēojamor *walēojamenai *walēojantor
Present Active Imperative *walē *walēte
Passive Active Imperative *walēzo
Future Active Imperative *walētōd
Participles Present Past
Tense *walēnts *walatos
Verbal Nouns tu-derivative s-derivative
Type *walatum *walēzi

Third Conjugation

The bulk of Proto-Italic verbs were third-conjugation verbs, which were derived from Proto-Indo-European root thematic verbs. However, some are derived from other PIE verb classes, such as *linkʷō (PIE nasal-infix verbs) and *dikskō (PIE *sḱe-suffix verbs).

Example Conjugation: *ed-e/o- (to eat)[43]

1st. Sing. 2nd. Sing. 3rd. Sing. 1st. Plur. 2nd. Plur. 3rd. Plur.
Present Active Indicative *edō *edes *edet *edomos *edetes *edont
Present Passive Indicative *edor *edezo *edetor *edomor *edemenai *edontor
Past Active Indicative *edoβam *edoβas *edoβad *edoβamos *edoβates *edoβand
Past Passive Indicative *edoβar *edoβazo *edoβator *edoβamor *edoβamenai *edoβantor
Future Active Indicative *edesō *edeses *edest *edesomos *edestes *edesont
Future Passive Indicative *edesor *edesezo *edestor *edesomor *edesemenai *edesontor
Present Active Subjunctive *edōm *edе̄s *edе̄d *edōmos *edе̄tes *edōnd
Present Passive Subjunctive *edōr *edе̄zo *edе̄tor *edōmor *edе̄menai *edōntor
Past Active Subjunctive *edesōm *edesе̄s *edesе̄d *edesōmos *edesе̄tes *edesōnd
Past Passive Subjunctive *edesōr *edesе̄zo *edesе̄tor *edesōmor *edesе̄menai *edesōntor
Active Optative *edojam *edojas *edojad *edojamos *edojates *edojand
Passive Optative *edojar *edojazo *edojator *edojamor *edojamenai *edojantor
Present Active Imperative *ede *edete
Passive Active Imperative *edezo
Future Active Imperative *edetōd
Participles Present Past
Tense *edents *essos
Verbal Nouns tu-derivative s-derivative
Type *essum *edezi

Third Conjugation jō-variant

This conjugation was derived from PIE *ye-suffix verbs, and went on to form most of Latin 3rd conjugation io-variant verbs as well as some 4th conjugation verbs.

Example Conjugation: *gʷen-je/jo- (to come)[44]

1st. Sing. 2nd. Sing. 3rd. Sing. 1st. Plur. 2nd. Plur. 3rd. Plur.
Present Active Indicative *gʷenjō *gʷenjes *gʷenjet *gʷenjomos *gʷenjetes *gʷenjont
Present Passive Indicative *gʷenjor *gʷenjezo *gʷenjetor *gʷenjomor *gʷenjemenai *gʷenjontor
Past Active Indicative *gʷenjoβam *gʷenjoβas *gʷenjoβad *gʷenjoβamos *gʷenjoβates *gʷenjoβand
Past Passive Indicative *gʷenjoβar *gʷenjoβazo *gʷenjoβator *gʷenjoβamor *gʷenjoβamenai *gʷenjoβantor
Future Active Indicative *gʷenjesō *gʷenjeses *gʷenjest *gʷenjesomos *gʷenjestes *gʷenjesont
Future Passive Indicative *gʷenjesor *gʷenjesezo *gʷenjestor *gʷenjesomor *gʷenjesemenai *gʷenjesontor
Present Active Subjunctive *gʷenjōm *gʷenjе̄s *gʷenjе̄d *gʷenjōmos *gʷenjе̄tes *gʷenjōnd
Present Passive Subjunctive *gʷenjōr *gʷenjе̄zo *gʷenjе̄tor *gʷenjōmor *gʷenjе̄menai *gʷenjōntor
Past Active Subjunctive *gʷenjesōm *gʷenjesе̄s *gʷenjesе̄d *gʷenjesōmos *gʷenjesе̄tes *gʷenjesōnd
Past Passive Subjunctive *gʷenjesōr *gʷenjesе̄zo *gʷenjesе̄tor *gʷenjesōmor *gʷenjesе̄menai *gʷenjesōntor
Active Optative *gʷenjojam *gʷenjojas *gʷenjojad *gʷenjojamos *gʷenjojates *gʷenjojand
Passive Optative *gʷenjojar *gʷenjojazo *gʷenjojator *gʷenjojamor *gʷenjojamenai *gʷenjojantor
Present Active Imperative *gʷenje *gʷenjete
Passive Active Imperative *gʷenjezo
Future Active Imperative *gʷenjetōd
Participles Present Past
Tense *gʷenjents *gʷentos
Verbal Nouns tu-derivative s-derivative
Type *gʷentum *gʷenjezi

Athematic Verbs

Only a handful of verbs remained within this conjugation paradigm, derived from the original PIE Root Athematic verbs.

Example Conjugation: *ezom (copula, to be)[45][39]

1st. Sing. 2nd. Sing. 3rd. Sing. 1st. Plur. 2nd. Plur. 3rd. Plur.
Present Active Indicative *ezom *es *est *(e)somos *(e)stes *sent
Past Active Indicative *fuβam *fuβas *fuβad *fuβamos *fuβates *fuβand
Future Active Indicative *fuzom *fus *fust *fuzomos *fustes *fuzent
Present Active Subjunctive *ezom *ezes *ezed *ezomos *ezetes *ezond
Past Active Subjunctive *fuzom, *essom *fuzes, *esses *fuzed, *essed *fuzomos, *essomos *fuzetes, *essetes *fuzond, *essond
Active Optative *siēm *siēs *siēd *sīmos *sītes *sīnd
Present Active Imperative *es *este
Future Active Imperative *estōd
Participles Present Past
Tense *sēnts
Verbal Nouns tu-derivative s-derivative
Type *essi

In addition to these conjugations, Proto-Italic also has some deponent verbs, such as *ōdai (Perfect-Present), as well as *gnāskōr (Passive-Active).

Perfective formations[edit]

According to Rix, if a verb stem is present in both the Latino-Faliscan and Osco-Umbrian (Sabellian) branches, the present stem is identical in 90% of cases, but the perfect in only 50% of cases. This is likely because the original PIE aorist merged with the perfective aspect after the Proto-Italic period.[39] Thus, the discrepancy in the similarities of present versus perfect stems in the two groupings of the Italic clade is likely attributed to different preservations in each group. The new common perfect stem in Latino-Faliscan derives mostly from the PIE perfective, while the perfect stem in Osco-Umbrian derives mostly from the PIE aorist.

In the Proto-Italic period, the root aorist of PIE was no longer productive. However, other PIE perfect and aorist stems continued to be productive, such as the reduplicated perfect and lengthened-vowel perfect stems, as well as the sigmatic aorist stem (found in Latin dīcō, dīxī).

Sometimes, multiple perfective forms for each stem are attested. For example, De Vaan gives the forms *fēk-, *fak- for the aorist stem of *fakiō, and the reduplicated perfect form <FHEFHAKED> is also attested on the Praeneste fibula in Old Latin.

Conjugation of the aorist[edit]

The aorist in Proto-Italic is characterized by the PIE secondary endings connected to the aorist stem by the appropriate thematic vowel. These endings are best attested in Sabellic, where aorist endings generally ousted the perfect ones; Latin instead generalized the perfect endings to its aorist-derived perfects.[46]

The following stem formations for the aorist are known:

  • The simple root aorist, formed by simply attaching aorist endings to an unsuffixed root. If ablaut is available for a root, the root is in the e-grade in the singular and zero-grade in the plural.
  • The s-aorist, where the root in the e-grade is suffixed with -s- to make the aorist stem.
Aorist conjugations in Proto-Italic
Person and number Endings Root aorist
*fēk-/*fak-
"did, made"
s-aorist
*deiks- "said"
1st Sing. *-om *fēkom *deiksom
2nd Sing. *-es *fēkes *deikses
3rd Sing. *-ed *fēked *deiksed
1st Plur. ? ? ?
2nd Plur. ? ? ?
3rd Plur. *-ond *fakond *deiksond
Conjugation of the perfect[edit]

The other main type of perfective formation in Italic was the perfect, which was derived from the Proto-Indo-European stative and had its own set of endings.

Perfect stems are created by a reduplication process where a copy syllable consisting of the first consonant of the verb root followed by e is prefixed to the root. In Italic, Vine believes that the root either is in the zero grade or has the same vowel as the present stem, but De Vaan identified at least two perfects with o-grade in the root syllable. Latin and Sabellic also both attest a tendency in which if a root has a semivowel in the middle, this semivowel replaces e in the copy syllable. If a verb root begins in *s followed by a stop consonant, both consonants appear in the copy syllable and the root syllable loses the *s.

Perfect stem formation in Italic
Root Copy syllable Root syllable Perfect stem Notes
*deh₃-
"to give"
*de- *d- *ded- Widely attested across Italic. Zero-grade root *-dh₃- resolves as non-syllabic when preceding a vowel.
*perh₃-
"to bring forth"
*pe- *par- *pepar- Reduplication with *e in the copy syllable. Vine claims that the *a in the root syllable is taken from the present stem *parj-;[47] but this is unnecessary, as zero-grade *-prh₃- would yield *-par- anyhow.[48]
*pewǵ- "to prick" *pu- *pug- *pupug- Semivowel instead of *e in the copy syllable.
*dʰeyǵʰ- "to form" *θi- *θiɣ- *θiθiɣ-
*telh₂- "to bear" *te- *tol- *tetol- Reduplication with *e in the copy syllable, but oddly, o-grade in the root syllable.
*deḱ- "to take (in)" *de- *dok- *dedok- Another perfect with o-grade in the root syllable. Corresponding Latin didicī has the copy syllable vowel replaced by i by analogy with present discō "I learn".[49]

The perfect endings in Italic, which only survive in the Latino-Faliscan languages, are derived from the original PIE stative endings, but with an extra -i added after most of them.[50]

An additional suffix -is- of difficult-to-trace origin was added in the evolution of Latin to the 2nd-person endings.

Perfect conjugations in Proto-Italic
Perfect Endings Latin endings
1st Sing. *-ai
2nd Sing. *-tai -istī [a]
3rd Sing. *-ei -īt [b]
1st Plur. ? -imus [c]
2nd Plur. *-e -istis [a][c]
3rd Plur. *-ēri -ēre [d]
  1. ^ a b Extended by mystery suffix -is-
  2. ^ Appears in Plautus, remodelled with -t from the present endings. Replaced by short-vowel -it derived from the aorist endings otherwise.
  3. ^ a b Ending reshaped after the present active endings.
  4. ^ Extended by *-ond from the aorist endings to form the usual ending -ērunt.

Post-Italic developments[edit]

Further changes occurred during the evolution of individual Italic languages. This section gives an overview of the most notable changes. For complete lists, see History of Latin and other articles relating to the individual languages.

  • *x debuccalises to [h]. *ɣ similarly becomes [ɦ] between vowels, but remains elsewhere. This change possibly took place within the Proto-Italic period. The result, whether [h] or [ɦ], was written h in all Italic languages. Initial *xl, *xr are reflected (in Latin at least) as gl, gr
  • *θ(e)r, *ð(e)r > *f(e)r, *β(e)r in all but Venetic. Compare Venetic louder-obos to Latin līber, Faliscan loifir-ta, Oscan lúvfreis.
  • *β, *ð> Latin b, d. In Osco-Umbrian the result is f (probably voiced) for both. In Faliscan, *β remains a fricative.
  • *ɣʷ > *gʷ in Latin, which then develops as below. > f in Osco-Umbrian.
  • *dw > b in classical Latin, although still retained in the archaic (see Duenos inscription)
  • *kʷ, *gʷ > p, b in Osco-Umbrian. They are retained in Latino-Faliscan and Venetic. In Latin, *gʷ > v [w] except after *n.
  • *z > r in Classical Latin and Umbrian, but not in Old Latin or Oscan.
  • Final -ā (fem. sg. nom., neut. pl. nom./acc.) > [oː] in Osco-Umbrian,[a][51] but becomes short -a in Latin.
  • Final *-ns (acc. pl. of various noun classes), *-nts (masc. nom. sg. of participles), and *-nt (neut. nom./acc. sg. of participles) developed in complex ways:[52]
PItal Pre-O-U Oscan Umbrian Pre-Latin Latin
*-ns *-ns -ss -f *-ns -s
*-nts *-nts -ns
*-nt *-nts -ns
  • Latin vowel reduction, during the Old Latin period. This merged many of the unstressed short vowels; most dramatically, all short vowels merged (usually to /i/) in open medial syllables. Furthermore, all diphthongs became pure vowels except for *ai and *au (and occasionally *oi) in initial syllables.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Immigrants from the North". CUP Archive – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b Bossong 2017, p. 859.
  3. ^ Baumer, Christoph (December 11, 2012). The History of Central Asia: The Age of the Steppe Warriors. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-78076-060-5 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Blench, Roger; Spriggs, Matthew (September 2, 2003). Archaeology and Language I: Theoretical and Methodological Orientations. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-82877-7 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ a b Silvestri 1998, p. 326
  6. ^ Sihler 1995, p. 228.
  7. ^ a b Silvestri 1998, p. 325
  8. ^ Sihler 1995, pp. 205–206.
  9. ^ Bakkum 2009, pp. 58–61.
  10. ^ a b Silvestri 1998, p. 332
  11. ^ a b c d de Vaan 2008, p. 6.
  12. ^ Meiser, Gerhard (2018). "The phonology of Italic". In Brian Joseph; Matthias Fritz; Jared Klein (eds.). Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics. De Gruyter. p. 747.
  13. ^ Weiss, Michael L. (2009). Outline of the historical and comparative grammar of Latin. Ann Arbor: Beech Stave Press. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-9747927-5-0.
  14. ^ M. de Vaan, Etymological Dictionary of Latin, 2008, Brill, p. 9; B. Vine, 2006: “On ‘Thurneysen-Havet’s Law’ in Latin and Italic”; Historische Sprachforschung 119, 211–249.
  15. ^ Sihler 1995, pp. 256–265.
  16. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 29.
  17. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 314.
  18. ^ Sihler 1995, p. 259.
  19. ^ Sihler 1995, p. 387.
  20. ^ Sihler 1995, pp. 266–272.
  21. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 618-619.
  22. ^ Sihler 1995, p. 268.
  23. ^ Sihler 1995, pp. 283–286.
  24. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 409-410.
  25. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 134-135.
  26. ^ Sihler 1995, pp. 315–319.
  27. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 372.
  28. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 365.
  29. ^ Sihler 1995, pp. 316–317.
  30. ^ Sihler 1995, pp. 319–327.
  31. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 482.
  32. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 136-137.
  33. ^ Sihler 1995, p. 323.
  34. ^ Sihler 1995, p. 324.
  35. ^ Sihler 1995, pp. 325–326.
  36. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 187.
  37. ^ a b de Vaan 2008, p. 507-508.
  38. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 284, 310, 323–324, 426.
  39. ^ a b c Rix 2002.
  40. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 179.
  41. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 387.
  42. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 651-652.
  43. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 185-186.
  44. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 661.
  45. ^ de Vaan 2008, p. 599.
  46. ^ Piwowarczyk, Dariusz (2011). "Formations of the perfect in the Sabellic languages with the Italic and Indo-European background". Studia Linguistica Universitatis Iagellonicae Cracoviensis. 128 (128). Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego: 103–126. doi:10.2478/v10148-011-0017-1. ISSN 1897-1059. Retrieved 20 June 2024.
  47. ^ Vine 2017, p. 789.
  48. ^ De Vaan 2008, pp. 445–446.
  49. ^ De Vaan 2008, p. 172.
  50. ^ Vine 2017, pp. 792–793.
  51. ^ Sihler 1995, p. 266.
  52. ^ Sihler 1995, p. 230.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Written o in the Latin alphabet, but ú in the native Oscan alphabet, and u or sometimes a in the native Umbrian alphabet. See Sihler 1995:266.

Bibliography[edit]