This paper aims to investigate whether a statistical analysis of linguistic data in inscriptions may serve for the study of sociolinguistic variation within the Latin Language. In particular, this study focuses on the quantitative vs. qualitative phonemic opposition within the vowel system of the so-called “Vulgar” Latin. In order to do so,
... we will study the relative frequency of the <ae>/<ē> and <ae>/<ĕ> graphemic oscillations in three different corpora of both synchronic and syntopic - but diaphasically and diastratically different - inscriptions from the city of Rome (cf. Mancini 2014). All the inscriptions considered in this sample date back from ca. 50 AD to ca. 250 AD (the last date referring to the “end” ofso-called Classical Latin according to Adamik 2015). Our results may point to the existence of a “disturbance” within the quantitative-based vowel system of Classical Latin, at least as far as some sub-standard varieties of the language are concerned.
This paper offers a linguistic analysis of epigraphic texts originating in the Endovellicus sanctuary, with particular reference to their use of and variation in Latin. As this sanctuary was visited by mostly local pilgrims from Roman times to late antiquity, the aim of the linguistic analysis is to identify linguistic variation in the
... sanctuary’s votive texts. The paper also demonstrates that differences in the spellings of the name of the god worshipped in the sanctuary may show characteristics of Vulgar Latin. The epigraphic corpus under study shows various Vulgar Latin traits common to other epigraphic texts known in Lusitania in the same period, with examples of the literary influence and high-level use of the Latin language, which may be related to the high social and cultural status of certain worshippers.