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zompist bboard :: View topic - Oscan Reconstruction
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Oscan Reconstruction
http://www.incatena.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=42670
Page 1 of 3

Author:  kanejam [ Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Oscan Reconstruction

Hello everyone!

So Znex (if they're still keen) and I had the idea to make a modern day Oscan descendent, but the first problem we have is that there isn't a whole lot of inscriptions in Oscan. The morphology, in particular the verbal morphology, and the vocabulary are both lacking. So this thread is a request for help in reconstructing Oscan.

Most of what I have is from reading through Buck's Grammar of Oscan and Umbian. Umbrian is also an interesting language with some neat innovations, but for now we'll focus on Oscan. Buck wrote that 'Oscan is the Gothic of the Italic dialects. In the conservatism and transparency of its vowel-system, it is rivalled only by Greek of all the Indo-European languages. Diphthongs are preserved intact in all positions.' Oscan also underwent anaptyxis between voiceless stops and liquids or nasals: /aragɛtu:d/ for Latin argentō - 'with silver'.

Let's start with the phonology.
/m n/
/p t k/
/b d g/
/f s x/
/w l r j/

Monophthongs in stressed syllables: /iː u uː e eː ɛ ɛː a aː o/
Monophthongs in unstressed syllables: /i u e ɛ a o/
/ai ɛi oi au ou (ɛu)/

- Consonants can appear geminate.
- Stress is always word-initial
- The fricatives /f s/ were voiced intervocalically. As far as I can tell, /x/ never occurred intervocalically. /x/ might also be realised as [h]. Intevocalic /s/ never rhotacised, giving the 1st declension genitive plural ending /a:su:m/ rather than Latin -ārum.
- There is no rounded velar. It merged with /p/ making it P-Italic rather than Q-Italic :wink: . /eu/ only appears in loans from Greek. /ɛː/ is rare.

Unresolved questions:
- . Was /x/ actually /x/ and if so, was it voiced? I don't know how common /x/ is between vowels but it could be /h/ instead of /x/.
-

This post is getting long, so here is a little bonus section: Orthography

/m n/ m n
/p t k/ p t k
/b d g/ b d g
/f s x/ f s h
/w l r j/ v l r i

/(i) iː u uː e eː ɛ ɛː a aː o/ i ií u uu í íí e ee a aa ú
/ai ɛi oi au ou (ɛu)/ aí eí úí av úv ev

- z was also used to indicate /ts/. x was unused.
- Long consonants were written doubled.
- Long vowels were often marked but not completely consistently, especially in inflectional endings. The genitive ending /a:su:m/ that I mentioned earlier was written -asúm.


Any comments or thoughts on the unresolved questions? I would love some feedback or help with this. If people are interested then I will carry on with nominal morphology next.

Author:  Terra [ Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction

I'm interested. Morphology, please!

Also, does Oscan continue any roots that died out in Latin?

Author:  kanejam [ Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction


Author:  dhok [ Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction

Are you quite sure Oscan had no nasals? Seems unlikely.

Author:  Kereb [ Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction

smartass.

Author:  kanejam [ Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction


Author:  Sleinad Flar [ Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction


Author:  Particles the Greek [ Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction


Author:  kanejam [ Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction


Author:  kanejam [ Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction

As always, if anyone wants to jump in and help they would be welcome.

Case Endings

I'll give four columns, the first will be Oscan, then an example word, then the Latin, then the Proto-Italic. Forms in green are not direct descendents of the Proto-Italic forms. Forms in italics are my own assumption.


First Declension

These continue the -eh nouns of PIE such as tewtéh (seem familiar?). After Sleinad Flar's post I've decided to leave all vowels short.

Sg
Nom... -ú ... túvtú ... -a ... *-ā
Voc ... -a ... túvta ... -a ... *-a
Gen ... -as ... túvtas ... -ae ... *-ās
Dat ... -aí ... túvtaí ... -ae ... *-āi
Acc ... -am ... túvtam ... -am ... *-ām
Abl ... -ad ... túvtad ... -ā ... *-ād
Loc ... -aí ... túvtaí ... (-ae) ... *-āi
Pl
Nom/Voc ... -as ... túvtas ... -ae ... *-ās
Gen ... -asúm ... túvtasúm ... -ārum ... *āsom
Dat/Abl ... -aís ... túvtaís ... -īs ... *-ais
Acc ... -ass ... túvtass ... -ās ... *-ans

There's very little of interest here. The main points are that Oscan retains the -ās of Proto-Italic whereas Latin -ae is innovated from somewhere. Also of interest is the Proto-Italic ablative ending in -ād which was generalised from the thematic nouns. I'm unsure of the vocative forms though; Buck seems to imply as fact that the ending in P-It. was short but I can't find evidence supporting this.

Second declension is a bit bigger so that will come shortly!

Author:  Sleinad Flar [ Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction


Author:  zompist [ Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction


Author:  kanejam [ Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction


Author:  kanejam [ Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction

I just found that a final s before another word starting with s is written h. I'm not sure what that says about it but maybe final s is quite weakly produced and that's how it contrasts with final ss.

Second Declension

Sg
Nom ... -s ... húrz ... -us ... *-os
Voc ... -e ... húrte ... -e ... *-e
Gen ... -eís ... húrteís ... -ī ... *-oi?
Dat ... -úí ... húrtúí ... -ō ... *-ōi
Acc ... -úm ... húrtúm ... -um ... *-om
Abl ... -ud ... húrtúd* ... -ō ... *-ōd
Loc ... -eí ... húrteí ... -ī ... *-ei
Pl
Nom/Voc ... -us ... húrtús* ... ... *-ōs
Gen ... -um ... húrtúm* ... -ōrum ... *-ōm
Dat/Abl ... -úís ... húrtúís ... -īs ... *-ois
Acc ... -úss ... húrtúss ... -ōs ... *-ons

The s of the nominative singular disappears after an l or r. If this causes a weird consonant cluster then an anaptyctic vowel appears, as in Latin. An example is *agros > ager (attested in Umbrian). Another note is that the asterisked forms should all have u rather than ú but are much more common with the latter spelling. To avoid confusion I will use u from here on.

The singular genitive is taken from the consonant stems, but otherwise the Oscan continues the Pr-It forms nicely. The Latin plural genitive was taken from the athematic stems. Latin's nominative plural comes from something like *-oi which supposedly occurred in Greek as well. These are for masculine nouns (and whatever rare feminine nouns there are, if they exist). The neuter words have slightly different forms for the nominative and accusative cases:
Sg
Nom/Acc ... -úm ... prúftúm ... -um ... *-om
Pl
Nom/Acc ... -ú ... prúftú ... -a ... *-ā

This sets the scene for all neuter nouns: no distinction between nominative and accusative and the nominative singular are the same as the accusative singular and the plural are the same as the 1st declension nominative singular. Otherwise the endings are the same as the rest of their declension. If that was confusing then I'm basically saying that neuter nouns behave exactly the same as in Latin.

There is a subset of second declension nouns known as the io-stems because the original Pr-It stems end in *-jo rather than just *-o. The /j/ undergoes samparasarana in some cases but remains consonantal elsewhere (unlike Latin):

Pl
Nom ... -is ... degetasis ... -ius ... *-jos
Voc ... -ie ... degetasie ... -ie ... *-je
Gen ... -ieís ... degetasieís ... -iī (sometimes -ī) ... *-joi?
Dat ... -iúí ... degetasiúí ... -iō ... *-jōi
Acc ... -im ... degetasim ... -ium ... *-jom
Abl ... -iud ... degetasiúd ... -iō ... *-jōd
Loc ... -ieí ... degetasieí ... -iī ... *-jei
Pl
Nom/Voc ... -ius ... degetasiús ... -iī ... *-jōs
Gen ... -ium ... degetasiúm* ... -iōrum ... *-jōm
Dat/Abl ... -iúís ... degetasiúís ... -iīs ... *-jois
Acc ... -iúss ... degetasiúss ... -iōs ... *-jons

Neuter Nom/Acc
Sg ... -im ... memnim ... -ium ... *-jom
Pl ... -ú ... memniú ... -ia ... *-jā

Edit: well this is embarrassing... tangins is a consonant stem :P

Author:  Sleinad Flar [ Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction


Author:  zompist [ Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction

Excursus is 4th declension... the Latin plural is excursūs. There's an amusing bit on this in Geoff Pullum's Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax.

Author:  kanejam [ Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction


Author:  kanejam [ Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction

Gentile

There is a special subset of io-stems which are basically iio-stems. In Latin and Oscan, the gentile is a patronymic formed by infixing /j/ into the ending of the father's (I'm assuming) praenomen. An example from Latin is Tullius from Tullus. However, in Oscan, io-stems are very common as praenomina, and the gentiles from these end up with two i's. Some examples of Oscan names are Vibis Smintiis, Dekis Rahiis, Stenis Kalaviis. It appears to be pronounced /ji/ in this case because it causes the consonant doubling, and in the oblique cases it has it's usual pronunciation of /ij/.


Third Declension

The third declension is much less coherent in Oscan than Latin, so I will just start with the i-stems and then tackle the mighty consonant stems later. Third declension nouns are of all three genders. There are a few examples of i-stems becoming io-stems, so maybe if I were to collapse the case system a bit then that would be one of the first changes I make.

SG
Nom ... -s ... aídil ... -s ... *-is
Voc ... -s ... aídil ... -s ... *-is?
Gen ... -eís ... aídileís ... -is ... *-eis
Dat ... -eí ... aídileí ... -ī ... *-ei
Acc ... -im ... aídilim ... -em ... *-im
Abl ... -id ... aídilid ... -ī ... *-īd
Loc ... -eí ... aídileí ... -ī ... *-ēi
PL
Nom/Voc ... -ís/is ... aídilis ... -ēs ... *-ejes
Gen ... -ium ... aídilium ... ium ... *-jōm
Dat/Abl ... -íss ... aídilíss ... ibus ... *-ifos
Acc ... -íss ... aídilíss .. īs ... *-ins

The are no examples of neuter i-stems in Oscan. In the plural they most likely ended in -iú, but it's unclear what the ending in the singular would be. However Umbrian follows Latin's lead, either turning the final *i into an e or deleting, as in the Latin sedīle and animal.

Of interest are the Nom Pl, which has the two alternate forms. The first is the natural continuation of the Pr-It, but the second is from *-īs by analogy with -ās and -ōs of the first two declensions. Also, there are no examples of an Acc Pl, although if the Pr-It form *-ins is continued then it will merge with the Dat/Abl form. Lastly, íss of the Dat/Abl is completely cognate with Latin -ibus, even though they don't look similar at all.

Next up, consonant stems!

Author:  Salmoneus [ Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction


Author:  Particles the Greek [ Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction

The problem I have most with Oscan is trying to adjust to the use of <i> and <u> to represent mid vowels.

Author:  kanejam [ Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction


Author:  kanejam [ Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction

Fourth Declension

The only certain form in Oscan is kastrúvs, a genitive singular. There are also maním and kastrid, which have i-stem forms. I can't work out whether this might be due the fourth declension collapsing into the third or if only some forms are taken from the third or even if these are just irregular. It probably be possible to reconstruct some forms from the Umbrian and Latin forms but I won't attempt that for now.


Fifth Declension

The fifth declension has fewer forms even than the fourth declension so the same problems exist. I will also leave this as an exercise for the reader.


Adjectives

Adjectives agree with the noun they are modifying in both number, case and gender. As in Latin, there are two classes of adjectives: the first/second declension adjectives, which take the case endings directly from the first and second declension nouns and third declension adjectives, which do the same with the third declension. For example, túvtíks is a first/second declension adjective, and when modifying egmú, a feminine noun, would take the form túvtíkú.


Some Vocab

So far it's all been pretty grammatical, so here are a few words.
túvtú, túvtas - f. people
egmú, egmas - f. thing
húrz, húrteís - m. temple (garden?)
embratur, embratureís - m. emperor
tangiuf, tangineís - m. opinion, feeling
huumuf, huumuneís - m. man, human
memnim, memnieís - n. monument
patir, patereís - m. father
maater, maatreís - f. mother
fraater, fraatreís - m. brother
svesur, svesureís - f. sister

Author:  Drydic [ Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction


Author:  Sleinad Flar [ Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction


Author:  kanejam [ Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oscan Reconstruction

Thanks Sleinad! I've been very distracted but I promise to do verbs next! They'll be a bit trickyAlso thanks for the response on intervocalic h. I found quite a few examples of praenomina and gentiles with an h marking hiatus (or at least what appears to be hiatus) so who knows. I'll have a proper look when I have a minute but maybe h denotes /x/ everywhere except intervocalically, where a previous [*G] (which might be from Proto-Italic to follow the intevocalic voicing of /*f/ and /*s/) has been lost maybe?

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