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.
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.
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.
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.