Vol. 55 (2019)

The confusion between <B> and <V> in Latin inscriptions from Sardinia

Published August 10, 2020


Tamponi, L. (2020). The confusion between <B> and <V> in Latin inscriptions from Sardinia. Acta Classica Universitatis Scientiarum Debreceniensis, 55, 127–146. https://doi.org/10.22315/ACD/2019/8

This paper focuses on the distribution of the alternation of <B> and <V> in a corpus of Latin inscriptions from Sardinia (1st century BC – 7th century AD). The distribution of the graphemes has been related to the dating and the provenance place of the inscriptions, and the total number of occurrences has been compared with the number of corresponding forms in Classical Latin. The amount of other consonantal misspellings in the texts has been examined as well, in order to verify whether the absence of misspellings could be due to a high degree of literacy of those involved in the crafting of the inscriptions. The results of the survey show a widespread graphemic confusion between <B> and <V> in the island, especially from the third century AD. In most of the cases, Classical Latin /w/ is represented as <B>, both in initial and internal position. It will be shown that the examination of the variables considered here could shed light on the evolution of Latin /b/ and /w/ in Sardinia.