Venetic language

From Academic Kids

Venetic is an extinct Indo-European language that was spoken in ancient times in the Veneto region of Italy, between the Po River delta and the southern fringe of the Alps.

The city of Venice may have been founded by Venetic-speaking people, who were called Veneti by the Romans and Enetoi by the Greeks.

The language is attested by over 250 short inscriptions dating between the 5th century BC and 1st century. It became extinct around the 1st century when the local inhabitants were assimilated into the Roman sphere.

Venetic should not be confused with Venetian, a Romance language presently spoken in that region.


Linguistic classification

Venetic is a centum language. The inscriptions use a variety of the Northern Italic alphabet one, similar to the Old Italic alphabet.

The exact relationship of Venetic to other Indo-European languages is still being investigated, but the majority of scholars agree that Venetic was closest to the Italic languages (a group that includes Latin, Oscan and Umbrian). Venetic may also have been related to the Illyrian languages language once spoken in Northeastern Italy, though the theory that Illyrian and Venetic were closely related is debated by current scholarship. Some important parallels with the Germanic languages have also been noted, especially in pronominal forms:

Venetic: ego = I, accusative mego = me
Gothic: ik, accusative mik
(Latin: ego, accusative me)
Venetic: sselboisselboi = to oneself
Old High German: selb selbo
(Latin: sibi ipsi)
Pokorny, Julius (1959): Indogermanisches Etymologisches W÷rterbuch. Bern, 1959. Pages 708-709, 882-884.


Venetic had about six or even seven noun cases and four conjugations (similar to Latin). About 60 words are known, but many were borrowed from Latin or Etruscan. Many of them show a clear Indo-European origin, such as fraterei < PIE *bhraterei = to the brother.

Language sample

A sample inscription in Venetic, found on a bronze nail at Este (Es 45):

Venetic: mego donasto śainatei reitiiai porai egeotora aimoi ke louderobos
Latin (literal): me donavit sanatrici Reitiae bonae Egetora pro-Aemo que liberis
English: Egetora gave me to Good Reitia the Healer on behalf of Aemus and the children

A sample inscription in Venetic, found on a situla at Cadore (Ca 4 Valle):

Venetic: eik goltanos doto louderai kanei
Latin (literal): hic Goltanus dedit Liberae Cani
English: Goltanus sacrificed this for the virgin Kanis

See also

External link

nl:Venetisch pl:Język wenetyjski sl:venetščina


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