Undeciphered -k language of ancient Yemen
|Era||attested early centuries CE|
|ISO 639-3||None (|
Among inscriptions in the Sayhadic (Old South Arabian) languages of ancient Yemen, there a few undeciphered inscriptions that suggest a different, otherwise unknown language or languages. This language is unnamed in literature. Beeston (1981:181) summarizes our meager knowledge of it:
One inscription from Marib is a votive text beginning with a formulaic preamble in 'classical' Sabaic, but then switches abruptly to an unknown language: though this contains a fair number of lexical items congruous with Sabaic, it shows an incidence of words ending in -k which would be wholly unnatural in Sabaic, and it cannot in any way be interpreted as Sabaic. A preponderance of words ending in -k is found also in an as yet indecipherable text from the southern esca[r]pment. A third is a still unpublished rock inscription again showing a high proportion of -k endings – and which, most interestingly, looks as if it is in verse.