|Extinct||attested 5th–1st century BC|
Venetic is an extinct Indo-European language that was spoken in ancient times in the North East of Italy (Veneto) and part of modern Slovenia, between the Po River delta and the southern fringe of the Alps.
The language is attested by over 300 short inscriptions dating from the 6th to the 1st century BC. Its speakers are identified with the ancient people called Veneti by the Romans and Enetoi by the Greeks. It became extinct around the 1st century when the local inhabitants were assimilated into the Roman sphere. Inscriptions dedicating offerings to Reitia are one of the chief sources of knowledge of the Venetic language.
The exact relationship of Venetic to other Indo-European languages is still being investigated, but the majority of scholars agree that Venetic, aside from Liburnian, shared some similarities with the Italic languages and so is sometimes classified as Italic. However, since it also shared similarities with other Western Indo-European branches (particularly Celtic languages and Germanic languages), some linguists prefer to consider it an independent Indo-European language. Venetic may also have been related to the Illyrian languages once spoken in the western Balkans, though the theory that Illyrian and Venetic were closely related is debated by current scholarship. Different scholars argued that Venetic may have been a transitional type between Celtic and Italic, with the same treatment of sonorants as in Celtic, and the same treatment of the mediae aspiratae and the voiceless occlusive labial (*p) as in Italic. The position of Venetic within Indo-European has been studied in detail by Lejeune.:p.163
- Venetic: ego = I, accusative mego = me
- Gothic: ik, accusative mik
- (Latin: ego, accusative me)
- Venetic: sselboi sselboi = to oneself
- Old High German: selb selbo
- (Latin: sibi ipsi)
A recent research found out that Venetic was a relatively archaic language significantly similar to Celtic, on the basis of morphology, while it occupied an intermediate position between Celtic and Italic, on the phonological side, but the similarities with latter may well have arisen as areal phenomena. Furthermore Venetic has an alphabetic structure close to the Rhaetian, suggesting a linguistic origin closer to it than to Latin.
Venetic had about six or even seven noun cases and four conjugations (similar to Latin). About 60 words are known, but some were borrowed from Latin (liber.tos. < libertus) or Etruscan. Many of them show a clear Indo-European origin, such as vhraterei < PIE *bhraterei = to the brother.
In Venetic, PIE stops *bh, *dh and *gh developed to /f/, /f/ and /h/, respectively, in word-initial position (as in Latin and Osco-Umbrian), but to /b/, /d/ and /g/, respectively, in word-internal intervowel position (as in Latin). For Venetic, at least the developments of *bh and *dh are clearly attested. Faliscan and Osco-Umbrian have /f/, /f/ and /h/ internally as well.
There are also indications of the developments of PIE *kʷ > kv, *gʷ- > w- and PIE *gʷʰ- > f- in Venetic, the latter two being parallel to Latin; as well as the regressive assimilation of the PIE sequence *p...kʷ... > *kʷ...kʷ..., a feature also found in Italic and Celtic:p.141
- Venetic: Mego donasto śainatei Reitiiai porai Egeotora Aimoi ke louderobos
- Latin (literal): me donavit sanatrici Reitiae bonae Egetora [pro] Aemo liberis-que
- English: Egetora gave me to Good Reitia the Healer on behalf of Aemus and the children
- Venetic: eik Goltanos doto louderai Kanei
- Latin (literal): hoc Goltanus dedit liberae Cani
- English: Goltanus sacrificed this for the virgin Kanis
The most prominent scholars who have deciphered Venetic inscriptions or otherwise contributed to the knowledge of the Venetic language are Carl Eugen Pauli, Hans Krahe, Giovanni Battista Pellegrini, Aldo Luigi Prosdocimi, and Michel Lejeune. Recent contributors include Loredana Calzavara Capuis and Anna Maria Chieco Bianchi.
- Venetic at MultiTree on the Linguist List
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Venetic". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- Giovanni Battista Pellegrini; Aldo Luigi Prosdocimi (1967). La Lingua Venetica: I- Le iscrizioni; II- Studi. Padova: Istituto di glottologia dell'Università di Padova.
- Wallace, Rex (2004). Venetic in Roger D. Woodard (ed.), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages, University of Cambridge, pp. 840-856. ISBN 0-521-56256-2 Online version
- The Illyrians by J. J. Wilkes Page 77 ISBN 0-631-19807-5
- Cambridge Ebooks, The Ancient Languages of Europe
- Gvozdanović, Jadranka (2012). "On the linguistic classification of Venetic. In Journal of Language Relationship." p. 34.
- Michel Lejeune (1974), Manuel de la langue vénète. Heidelberg: Indogermanische Bibliothek, Lehr- und Handbücher.
- Julius Pokorny (1959), Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch. Bern.
- "Linguistic distances between Rhaetian, Venetic, Latin and Slovenian l, Silvestri et al. (PDF)" (PDF).
- Michel Lejeune (1974). Manuel de la langue vénète. Heidelberg: Carl Winter - Universitätsverlag.
- Carl Eugen Pauli (1885–94). Altitalische Forschungen. Leipzig: J.A. Barth.
- Hans Krahe (1954). Sprache und Vorzeit : europäische Vorgeschichte nach dem Zeugnis der Sprache. Heidelberg: Quelle & Meyer.
- Aldo Luigi Prosdocimi (2002), Veneti, Eneti, Euganei, Ateste.
- Aldo Luigi Prosdocimi (2002).Trasmissioni alfabetiche e insegnamento della scrittura, in AKEO. I tempi della scrittura. Veneti antichi: alfabeti e documenti, (Catalogue of an exposition at Montebelluna, 12/2001-05/2002). Montebelluna, pp.25-38.
- Selected bibliography of Loredana Calzavara Capuis
- Anna Maria Chieco Bianchi; et al. (1988). Italia: omnium terrarum alumna: la civiltà dei Veneti, Reti, Liguri, Celti, Piceni, Umbri, Latini, Campani e Iapigi. Milano: Scheiwiller.
- Mallory, Adams, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, 1997.