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Remarks on Vowel Deletion in Latin Inscriptions From Sardinia
Published September 1, 2020

Abstract: This paper focuses on the frequency of vowel deletion in a corpus containing the available Latin inscriptions from Sardinia. The frequency of the phenomenon has been examined with reference to the amount of other deviant spellings displayed in the epigraphic texts, the dating and the type of the inscriptions involved. The results of t...he analysis show a very low frequency of vowel deletion in the inscriptions from the island, which is consistent with the Romance evolution of the Sardinian varieties. In particular, late syncope is infrequent, especially when its relative frequency is compared with that provided for other areas of the Empire. Therefore, though it is possible to find a correlation between the data from Latin inscriptions and Romance, our results reinforce the conclusions put forward by Adamik,1 according to which the allegedly high frequency of syncope in late Latin and the assumption of a pan-Romance core of Romance syncope is not supported by inscriptional evidence.

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The confusion between <B> and <V> in Latin inscriptions from Sardinia
Published August 10, 2020

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 nu...mber 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.

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Consonantal Degemination in Latin Inscriptions of the Roman Empire:: A Dialectological and Sociolinguistic Perspective
Published September 1, 2020

In this paper, a survey is conducted on the phenomenon of consonantal degemination through the corpus of epigraphic materials. The aim of this research is to understand the nature of this phenomenon and its possible implications in the field of dialectological studies.

Linguistic Peculiarities in the Latin Inscriptions of Potaissa (Dacia)
Published September 1, 2020

Around 200 inscriptions have been found at Potaissa so far. Some of them disappeared and their texts are known to us exclusively from publications, others are kept in museum collections. The subject of this study is their linguistic examination, by following the peculiarities and the deviations from the classical norms of the language. When pos...sible, this data will be related to details on the donors, on the provenance of the epigraphs, on their type, and on other information that can contribute to shaping the cultural-linguistic profile of the Roman town.

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Parallel Phrases and Interaction in Greek and Latin Magical Texts.: The Pannonian Set of Curse Tablets
Published September 1, 2020

Magical texts represent an inexhaustible source for the phenomena of an ancient language for special purposes. The scope of this paper is limited to the different kinds of word-borrowings in the Pannonian set of curse tablets. One-language, well written and easily readable magical texts can be difficult to understand while explicit and unambigu...ous wording is expected in such practical genre like curses which level at definite persons. Harmful curse tablets and protective amulets, however, can be obscure. This study aims to give a comprehensive account of the possible reasons why these texts have a cloudy style, with special outlook of parallel phrases in Greek pieces of evidence.

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The Transformation of the Vowel System in African Latin With a Focus on Vowel Mergers as Evidenced in Inscriptions and the Problem of the Dialectal Positioning of Roman Africa
Published September 1, 2020

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.

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The role of archaisms in the Latin inscriptions of the Roman Empire: some new considerations in light of computerized dialectology
Published August 10, 2020

This paper aims to reconsider the role of archaisms in epigraphy and, above all, their possible dialectal value. Indeed, according to a traditional theory, provinces that were colonized earlier by the Romans preserved archaic varieties of Latin. Scholars have often used inscriptions to support this idea, particularly in the case of Hispania..., but the results of this paper, which rely on the methodology of modern Computerized Dialectology, are negative in this regard.

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A Study on the Weakening of the Word Final –s Compared to –m in the Epigraphic Corpus
Published September 1, 2020

The position of the word final –s, after a weakening in archaic Latin, seems to be fixed in the spoken language in the classical period. Then, it partially disappeared in the Romance languages: in modern languages, it is conserved only north and west of the Massa–Senigallia line, while we cannot find it neither in the eastern regions nor in... South Italy. Based on this fact, linguists generally claim that the weakening of the final –s started only after the intensive dialectal diversification of Latin, simultaneously with the evolution of the Romance languages. However, the data of the Computerized Historical Linguistic Database of Latin Inscriptions of the Imperial Age (LLDB) do not verify this generally accepted opinion. We can find almost as many examples of the lack of word final –s as that of –m also from the earlier centuries of the Imperial age. The aim of this paper is to explore the reasons behind the inconsistencies between the scholarly consensus and the epigraphical data.

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Latinization of the north-western provinces: sociolinguistics, epigraphy and bilingualism. A preliminary study on the area of Nijmegen
Published August 10, 2020

The ERC research project LatinNow (Latinisation of the north-western provinces), is intended to be a broad-based investigation of linguistic change in the north-western Empire (namely Britain, Gaul, Germanies, Noricum, Raetia and Iberia). Drawing upon sociolinguistics, bilingualism studies, digital epigraphy, and archaeology, specifically the a...nalysis of writing materials, the area of Nijmegen has been used as a starting point, showing the different phonological features available and how they are distributed on the different writing materials, in terms of studying changes in the Germanies.

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Frameworks of Reference in the Identification of Latin Dialects
Published September 1, 2020

Various studies proved that the methodology of J. Herman produces plausible and verifiable results in the field of Latin dialectology, but certain methodological questions remained still unanswered regarding our points of reference in the decision which proportions of the data of the inscriptional faults are classified significant; how to decid...e on the basis of the proportion of a certain error type if a certain linguistic change was in progress, if it was completed, or if it was not active in the examined territory; which types of errors can serve as base or bases of comparison for a specific examined error type; which periods and territories should be the point of reference in comparisons. In the present study, we attempt to give answers to these questions by running statistical surveys using different points of reference in statistical significance and different bases of comparisons in the error types, and we set up a list of expected results based on the known tendencies of sound changes in Vulgar Latin against which we will measure the actual results of the survey in order to determine which methods were the most effective in meeting the expected picture that we already know about the development of Romance languages.

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Henrik Finály and Roman Dacia: The Contributions of a 19th Century Hungarian Po-Lymath to the Development of Roman Provincial Archaeology in Transylvania
Published August 15, 2017

By any standards Henrik Finály was a true polymath, his overarching interests ranging from mathematics to classical studies, modern linguistics and literature, economics, medieval studies and archaeology. Although he was among the first Hungarian antiquarians to pursue systematic scholarly investigations of Roman Dacia, his contribution in thi...s field has been unfairly downgraded in the intervening years, and his name almost erased from the research history of the province. The main goal of the paper is to provide a comprehensive insight into, and a critical overview of the early stages of Roman Dacia studies through the work of Henrik Finály in the social, political and cultural context of 19th century Transylvania.

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