see also: Venetic:Phonology | Venetic:Morphology and Syntax

Venetic was an Indo-European language spoken in North Eastern Italy from 1000 to the first century B.C. It is possibly an Italic languages, related to Latin, Oscan, and Umbrian, but this classification is not certain. Like the Sabellian languages, Venetic was displaced by Latin on account of Roman expansion. The body of Venetic writings, a total of 350 specimens, is equally divided between funerary and votive inscriptions. The latter are written on bronze tablets or writing implements for dedication at religious sanctuaries; sites such as the Sanctuaries at Baratella and Lagole di Calalzo have yielded much of the corpus. Funerary inscriptions as well come from these sites; many are inscriptions left on terracotta funeral urns, but some have been written into stone obelisks and funerary stelae.

Writing SystemEdit

see here for images of the script

Before the advent of the Romans in Northern Italy, the Venetic peoples used an adaptation of an Etruscan script. Etruscan lacks voiced plosives (namely b, d, and g), and their alphabet reflected this; the signs for beta, delta, and gamma were removed. Omicron was excised as well. The Venetics needed these consonants, however, so they used the less practical phi, theta, and khi to represent b, d, and g, respectively. They re-borrowed omicron at some point. This new script was termed the "alphabet princeps." As it spread through Venetia and the North-East, the various Venetic communities adopted their own idiosyncrasies to the original. For instance, /f/ was originally spelled Venetic-f, or vh. But in some regions, the Venetic-v was removed and /f/ was conveyed simply with Venetic-h. After 300 B.C. Venetic-h was streamlined into Venetic-alternative h, a sign that looks exactly like iota with syllabic punctuation. This "syllabic" punctuation generally consisted of small marks before and after certain letters, such as syllable-initial vowels and syllable-final consonants.

By the end of the Venetic period, inscriptions were written in the Latin alphabet, along with the corresponding practices such as punctuation between words and dextrograde direction.

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