The epitaph of Priest Iohannes (CIL III 9527, Salona, August 13, 599 or AD 603) is one of the few inscriptions from the sixth-century Salona, which can be dated with precision. It is also one of the rare inscriptions from Dalmatia of this period, which mention a person (proconsul Marcellinus) known from other sources (Registrum epistularum of P...ope Gregory the Great). However, its linguistic importance seems to be summarized in the remark of its most recent editor Nancy Gauthier (2010) that the language of the epitaph reflects the features of Latin spoken in Dalmatia at the time (“la langue vivante”). The aim of this paper was to check the plausibility of this statement by comparing the Vulgar Latin features in the inscription with the results of research on Latin in late Dalmatia. Also, a new interpretation of the word obsis l. 13 is proposed.
Present paper intends to explore the process of the transformation of the vowel system as evidenced in the pre-Christian and Christian inscriptions of the Roman provinces Africa Pro-consularis including Numidia and Mauretania Caesariensis. With the help of the LLDB-Database, the phonological profiles of the selected African provinces will be dr...awn and compared to those of six more territorial units, i.e. Sardinia, Hispania, Gallia, Dalmatia, the city of Rome and Bruttium et Lucania. Then the dialectal position of the selected African provinces will be described by various methods of phonological analysis regarding vocalism in both periods. It will be demonstrated how the selected African provinces did not form a homogeneous dialectological area. The vocalism of Latin in later Africa Proconsularis including Numidia turns out to be of the same type as of the later Latin in Sardinia, while the vocalism of the Latin in later Mauretania Caesariensis might have started to develop toward the eastern or Balkan type of vocalism. Regarding consonantism, especially the b-w merger, later Mauretania Caesariensis shows explicitly different trends from what we see in later Africa Proconsularis.
Previous studies analyzed the Vulgar Latin of the inscriptions of Pannonia Inferior, Dalmatia and Venetia et Histria, comparing the differences between the provincial capitals and the countryside of the provinces, in order to verify the hypothesis of Untermann (1980) and Herman (1983) about the existence of a larger regional dialect of Latin ov...er the Alps–Danube–Adria region. The analyses made clear that these geographic unites don’t constitute a solid and uniform dialectal area, but there are undeniable common characteristics, such as the weakness of the /w/~/b/ merger or the lack of sonorization, which allow us to suppose that the Vulgar Latin variants of these provinces were somewhat more connected among each other than with the rest of the empire. This study involves another province of the Alps–Danube–Adria region, Noricum, in the examination, systematically discusses the changes in the vowel and consonant systems based on the relative distribution of diverse types of non-standard data from the inscriptions of Noricum, and contrasts the linguistic phenomena of an earlier period (1st–3rd c. AD) with a later stage (4th–6th c. AD) of Vulgar Latin, attempting to define whether Noricum fits common characteristics found in the other provinces of the Alps–Danube–Adria region.