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Iberian language

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Title: Iberian language  
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Subject: Hispania, Origin of the Basques, Semi-syllabary, Iberian Peninsula, History of the Spanish language
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Iberian language

Native to Modern Spain and France
Region Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula
Extinct 1st–2nd century AD
Language codes
ISO 639-3 xib
Linguist list
Glottolog iber1250[1]

The Iberian language was the language of a people identified by Greek and Roman sources who lived in the eastern and southeastern regions of the Iberian Peninsula. The ancient Iberians can be identified as a rather nebulous local culture between the 7th and 1st century BC. The Iberian language, like all the other Paleohispanic languages except Basque, became extinct by the 1st to 2nd centuries AD, after being gradually replaced by Latin. Iberian is unclassified: while the scripts used to write it have been deciphered to various extents, the language itself remains largely unknown.

Links with other languages have been claimed, especially the Basque language, but they have not been clearly demonstrated to the satisfaction of modern scholarship.[2]

Geographic distribution

Iberian language in the context of paleohispanic languages

The Iberian language was widely spoken along the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula.

In the north, the Iberian language inscriptions reached the south of France up to the Hérault river. Important written remains have been found in Ensérune, between Narbonne and Béziers in France, in an oppidum with mixed Iberian and Celtic elements. The southern limit would be Porcuna, in Jaén (Spain), where splendid sculptures of Iberian riders have been found. Towards inland the exact distribution of the Iberian language inscriptions is uncertain. It seems that the culture reached the interior through the Ebro river (Iberus in Latin) as far as Salduie (Zaragoza) but not farther.

Among the pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula the following might have spoken the Iberian language: Ausetani (northeastern Catalonia), Ilergetes (Lleida and Huesca up to the Pyrenees), Indigetes (coast of Girona), Laietani (Barcelona), Cassetani (Tarragona), Ilercavones (Murcia and Levante up to Tarragona), Edetani (Valencia, Castellón and Teruel), Contestani (Valencia, Alicante, Cartagena and Albacete), Bastetani (Granada, Almería and Murcia) and Oretani (Jaén, Ciudad Real, Albacete and Cuenca). Turduli and Turdetani are believed to be of Tartessian language.

For some scholars, such as Velaza (2006), Iberian could have been the language spoken by the autochthonous population of these territories, while for others, such as De Hoz (1993), Iberian could have been more of a lingua franca.


Iberian scripts in the context of paleohispanic scripts

The origin of the language is unknown. Although Iberian ceased to be written in the 1st century AD, it may have survived in some areas until the Visigothic period, according to Menéndez Pidal.[3]


Lead plaque from Ullastret using the dual variant of the northeastern Iberian script.

The oldest Iberian inscriptions date to the 4th century BC or maybe the 5th century BC and the latest ones date from the end of the 1st century BC or maybe the beginning of the 1st century AD. More than two thousand Iberian inscriptions are currently known. Most are short texts on ceramic with personal names, which are usually interpreted as ownership marks. The longest Iberian texts were made on lead plaques; the most extensive is from Yátova (Valencia) with more than six hundred signs.

Three different scripts have remained for the Iberian language:

Northeastern (or Levantine) Iberian script

Lead plaque from La Bastida de les Alcuses (Mogente) using the southeastern Iberian script.

The northeastern Iberian script is also known as the Iberian script, because it is the Iberian script most frequently used (95% of the extant texts (Untermann 1990)). The northeastern Iberian inscriptions have been found mainly in the northeastern quadrant of the Iberian Peninsula: chiefly on the coast from Languedoc-Roussillon to Alicante, but with a deep penetration into the Ebro valley. This script is almost completely deciphered.

All the paleohispanic scripts, with the exception of the Greco-Iberian alphabet, share a common distinctive typological characteristic: they use signs with syllabic value for the occlusives and signs with monophonematic value for the remaining consonants and for vowels. From a writing systems point of view they are neither alphabets nor syllabaries; rather, they are mixed scripts that are normally identified as semi-syllabaries. Regarding their origin there is no agreement among researchers; for some they are linked only to the Phoenician alphabet, while for others the Greek alphabet played a part.

Southeastern (or Meridional) Iberian script

Lead plaque from la Serreta (Alcoy) using the Greco-Iberian alphabet.

The southeastern Iberian script is a semi-syllabary too, but it is more similar to the Tartessian script than to the northeastern Iberian script. The southeastern Iberian inscriptions have been found mainly in the southeastern quadrant of the Iberian Peninsula: eastern Andalusia, Murcia, Albacete, Alicante and Valencia. This script is not completely deciphered.

Greco-Iberian alphabet

Lead plaque from Castellet de Bernabè, Valencia

The Greco-Iberian alphabet is a direct adaptation of an Ionic variant of a Greek alphabet to the specificities of the Iberian language. The inscriptions that use the Greco-Iberian alphabet have been found mainly in Alicante and Murcia.


Current extent of linguistic knowledge

Very little is known for certain about Iberian. The investigation of the language is past its initial phase of transcription and compiling of material, and is currently in the phase of identifying grammatical elements in the texts.

The hypotheses currently proposed are unconfirmed, and are likely to remain so unless the discovery of a bilingual text allows linguists to confirm their deductions.



Iberian appears to have 5 vowels commonly transcribed as a e i o u. Other modern languages on the peninsula such as Basque and Spanish also have such systems. Although five-vowel systems are extremely common all over the world, it has been suggested that this may point to a Sprachbund amongst the ancient languages of the Iberian peninsula.[2]

The front vowels (a, e, i) appear more frequently than the back vowels. Although there are indications of a nasal vowel (ḿ), this is thought to be an allophone. Judging by Greek transcriptions, it seems that there were no vowel length distinctions; if this is correct then Iberian uses the long ē (Greek ῆτα ēta) as opposed to the short epsilon (Greek ἔψιλόν épsilón).


It seems that the second element of diphthongs was always a closed vowel, as in ai (śaitabi), ei (neitin), and au (lauŕ). Untermann observed that the diphthong ui could only be found in the first cluster.


It is possible that Iberian had the semivowels /j/ (in words such as aiun or iunstir) and /w/ (only in loanwords such as diuiś from Gaulish). The fact that /w/ is lacking in native words casts doubt on whether semivowels really existed in Iberian outside of foreign borrowings and diphthongs.


  • Vibrants: There are two vibrants r and ŕ. Iberian specialists do not agree about the phonetic values assigned to either vibrant. Correa (1994) hypothesized that ŕ was an alveolar flap [ɾ] and r was a "compound vibrant", that is, a trill [r]. Later, Rodríguez Ramos (2004) suggested that ŕ was an alveolar flap [ɾ] and r is a retroflex flap [ɽ] in line with Ballester (2001) who thought that r represents a uvular fricative [ʁ]. However, Ballester (2005) later changed his hypothesis and took r for an alveolar flap [ɾ] and ŕ for the alveolar trill [r]. Neither r nor ŕ occurs word-initially, which is also the case in Basque.
  • Sibilants: There are two sibilants s and ś. The distinction is unclear, and there are multiple proposals. Ballester (2001) theorizes that s was an alveolar [s] and ś was an alveolo-palatal [ɕ]. Rodríguez Ramos (2004) proposes that ś was alveolar [s] and s was an affricate, either dental [ts] or palatal [tʃ] (like English "ch"). This proposal coincides with the observation by Correa on adaptations of Gallic names in Iberian texts.
  • Laterals: The lateral l is normally interpreted as [l]. It is extremely rare in final position and it could be that the distribution is on occasion complementary with ŕ: aŕikal-er ~ aŕikaŕ-bi.
  • Nasals:
    • The n was probably alveolar [n].
    • m: Researchers studying Iberian do not agree on the kind of nasal represented by this letter. The letter m rarely occurs word-initially. Velaza (1996) hypothesizes it could be an allophone of medial n, as shown in the example of iumstir/iunstir. José A. Correa (1999) suggests it may be a geminate or strong nasal. Ballester (2001) considers it to be a labialized nasal in Iberian and in Celtiberian. Rodríguez Ramos (2004) mentions that it could be an allophone of n where it nasalizes the preceding vowel.
    • There is some controversy over the sound ḿ. While it's thought to be some type of nasal, there is no certainty as to its value. Several linguists agree on the value [na], based on similarities with texts written in the Greek alphabet, as there are similarities between the suffixes -ḿi / -nai, and in the onomastic elements -ḿbar- / -nabar-. Another part of this theory seems to contradict itself with the transcription of ḿbar-beleś into Latin as VMARBELES. Correa (1999) proposes that it was a labialized nasal. It is not even clear that the sign is always pronounced in the same form. Rodríguez Ramos (2004) considers it a nasalized vowel, produced by progressive nasalization.
  • Plosives: There are five plosives.
unvoiced voiced
velar /k/ /ɡ/
dental /t/ /d/
labial /b/
The evidence indicates the non-existence of a phoneme p as it is not documented either in the Greek alphabet or in the dual Iberian systems. It is only found in Latin inscriptions naming native Iberians and is thought to be an allophone of b.
It has been suggested that the phoneme b would on occasions have been pronounced similar to w (this would be explained by the frequency of the sign bu), and as such it could have had a nasalized pronunciation.


There are a number of known affixes, especially applied to last names. For the Iberian language these seem to be postpositional, and apparently more agglutinative than fusional.

The best-known are the following.

-ar: applied to proper names to mark possession.
-en: of a similar or identical use to -ar.
-ka: seems to indicate the person who receives something
-te: seems to indicate the ergative
-ku: seems to indicate the ablative [4] Possibly related to the Basque local genitive -ko.
-ken / -sken: usually understood as genitive plural because of its use on coins in ethnical names (with parallels on Latin and Greek coins).
-k: has been proposed on occasions to mark the plural. -k is a plural marker in Basque.


There are some words for which there has been surmised a more or less probable meaning:[5]

  • aŕe take as akin to the Latin formula hic est situs ("here he is") (Untermann 1990, 194) because of a bilingual inscription from Tarragona C.18.6
  • eban and ebanen as equivalent to the Latin coeravit ("he cared [to be done]") in tombstones (Untermann 1990, 194), because of a bilingual inscription from Sagunto F.11.8
  • iltiŕ and iltun as typical Iberian toponyms for city names, meaning something like "city" / "town" [6]
  • ekiar: verb or verbal noun with a meaning like "to do" / "to make" compared with the Basque verb egin (Beltrán 1942;[7] Correa 1994, 284). likine-te ekiar usekerte-ku with a meaning akin to "made by Likinos of Osicerda" (Correa 1994, 282)
  • seltar and siltar as meaning something like "tomb" on tombstones (Untermann 1990, 194).[8]
  • śalir as meaning something like "money" / "coin", because of its use in coins (as iltiŕta-śalir-ban) and its use in lead plaque inscriptions besides numbers and quantities (Untermann 1990, 191).[9]

Personal names

Thanks to the Latin Inscription of the plaque of Ascoli, which includes a list of Iberian cavalry soldiers in the Roman army (the Turma Salluitana), the forms of Iberian proper names have been unraveled. Iberian names are formed mainly by two interchangeable elements, each usually formed of two syllables, which are written together (Untermann 1998). For example, the element "iltiŕ" can be found in the following names: iltiŕaŕker, iltiŕbaś, iltiŕtikeŕ, tursiltiŕ, baiseiltiŕ or bekoniltiŕ. This discovery was a giant step: from this moment it was possible to identify with some kind of confidence the names of persons in the texts. Nevertheless, the list of components of Iberian names varies between researchers. The basic list comes from Untermann (1990) and was recently updated by Rodríguez Ramos (2002b); complementary data and criteria can be found in the Faria papers (the last two: 2007a and 2007b).

The following list includes some of the elements proposed as components of Iberian names: abaŕ, aibe, aile, ain, aitu, aiun, aker, albe, aloŕ, an, anaŕ, aŕbi, aŕki, aŕs, asai, aster, ata, atin, atun, aunin, auŕ, austin, baiser, balaŕ, balke, bartaś, baś, bastok, bekon, belauŕ, beleś, bels, bene, beŕ, beri, beŕon, betan, betin, bikir, bilos, bin, bir, bitu, biuŕ, bolai, boŕ, boś, boton, ekes, ekaŕ, eler, ena, esto, eten, eter, iar, iaun, ibeś, ibeis, ike, ikoŕ, iltiŕ, iltur, inte, iskeŕ, istan, iunstir, iur, kaisur, kakeŕ, kaltuŕ, kani, kaŕes, kaŕko, katu, keŕe, kibaś, kine, kitaŕ, kon, koŕo, koŕś, kuleś, kurtar, lako, lauŕ, leis, lor, lusban, nalbe, neitin, neŕse, nes, niś, nios, oŕtin, sakaŕ, sakin, saltu, śani, śar, seken, selki, sike, sili, sine, sir, situ, soket, sor, sosin, suise, taker, talsku, tan, tanek, taneś, taŕ, tarban, taŕtin, taś, tautin, teita, tekeŕ, tibaś, tikeŕ, tikirs, tikis, tileis, tolor, tuitui, tumar, tuŕś, turkir, tortin, ulti, unin, uŕke, ustain, ḿbaŕ, nḿkei.

In some cases linguists have encountered simple names, with only one element for a suffix: BELES, AGER-DO and BIVR-NO are in the plaque of Ascoli, neitin in Ullastret and lauŕ-to, bartas-ko or śani-ko in other Iberian texts. More rarely there have been indications of an infix, which can be -i-, -ke- or -ta- (Untermann used oto-iltiŕ in front of oto-ke-iltiŕ or with AEN-I-BELES). In rare cases Untermann also encountered an element is- or o- prefacing a proper name (is-betartiker; o-tikiŕtekeŕ; O-ASAI).

In the elements that formed Iberian names it is common to encounter patterns of variation, as in eter/eten/ete with the same variations as in iltur/iltun/iltu; kere/keres as lako/lakos; or alos/alor/alo and bikis/bikir/biki).

Some Iberian onomastic elements have look-alikes in Aquitanian or Basque. This has been explained by Vascologists like Mitxelena[10] as an "onomastic pool". However, since the meaning of most Iberian words remains opaque to date, the connection remains speculative except in a very small number of cases.[11] An ancient sprachbund involving these two languages is deemed likely by some linguists.[2] But as Trask [2] notes, Basque has been of no help in translating Iberian inscriptions.

Iberian and Basque

Whether Iberian and Basque are two languages of the same language family is still a much debated question. Many experts on Iberian suspect that there is a relationship of some sort between Iberian and Aquitanian, a precursor of the Basque language. But there is not enough evidence to date to ascertain whether the two languages belong to the same language family or whether the relationship is due to linguistic borrowing.[12] Lexical and onomastic coincidences could be due to borrowing, while the similarities in the phonological structures of the two languages could be due to linguistic areal phenomena (cf. the similarities between Basque and Old Spanish in spite of their being languages of two different families). More scientific studies on Iberian language are needed to shed light on this question.

From a historical perspective, the first features where a relationship between Basque and Iberian was claimed were:

  • the suffixes -sken / -ken on Iberian coins (which were compared to the genitive plural on similar ancient coins) with the Basque plural (-k) and genitive (-en) endings[13]
  • Iberian town names containing ili (particularly iliberri), where parallels were drawn with Basque hiri ("town") and berri ("new").[14]

Although other pairs have been proposed (such as eban, ars, -ka, -te), the meanings of these Iberian morphs are still controversial. The main arguments today which relate to coinciding surface forms between Basque and Iberian are:

  • Phonetics: Proto-Basque phonology, first proposed by Michelena, appears to be very similar to what is known about the Iberian phonological system. It has been claimed that the lack of /m/, common to both Proto-Basque and Iberian, is especially significant [15]).
  • Onomastics: Aquitanian-Latin inscriptions contain personal and deity names which can clearly be related to modern Basque words, but also show structural and lexical resemblances with Iberian personal names.[16] But Iberian influence on the Aquitanian name system, rather than a genetic link, cannot be dismissed either.
  • In Iberian iltiŕ and iltur, ili is read "city".[17] Modern Basque hiri, "city", is derived from the very similar Proto-Basque root *ili[18]
  • The Iberian genitive ending -en and maybe the genitive plural-(s)ken, compared to the Basque genitive -en and the Basque genitive plural *ag-en as reconstructed by Michelena.[19] But Michelena himself was sceptical about this comparison.
  • An Iberian formula which frequently appears on tombstones, aŕe take, with variants such as aŕe teike, which on a bilingual inscription from Tarragona may be equivalent to the Latin hic situs est ("here is"), as proposed by Hübner.[20] This was compared by Schuchardt (1907) [21] with Basque "(h)ara dago" “there is/stays”.
  • The Iberian word ekiar, explained as something akin to “he made”,[22] proposed to be linked with the Basque verb ‘egin’ "make"[23]
  • The Iberian word śalir explained as “money”, “coin” or “value”, proposed to be linked to Basque word ‘sari’ (probably Proto-Basque *sali) meaning “value”, “payment”, “reward”.[24]

In 2005 Eduardo Orduña published a study showing some Iberian compounds that according to contextual data would appear to be Iberian numerals and show striking similarities with Basque numerals. The study was expanded upon by Joan Ferrer (2007 and 2009) based on terms found on coins, stating their value, and with new combinatorial and contextual data. The comparison proposes the following:

Iberian Iberian meaning Proto-Basque[2] Modern Basque and meaning
erder / erdi- "half" erdi "half"
ban "one" *badV / *bade? bat "one" (but cf -n final compound forms such as bana "one each")
bi / bin a numeral biga bi (older biga) "two" (also cf -n final compound forms such as bina "two each")
irur a numeral hirur hiru(r) "three"
laur a numeral laur lau(r) "four"
borste / bors a numeral bortz / *bortzV? bost (older bortz) "five"
śei a numeral sei "six"
sisbi a numeral? zazpi "seven"
sorse a numeral? zortzi "eight"
abaŕ / baŕ a numeral *[h]anbar ? hamar "ten"
oŕkei a numeral hogei "twenty"

The basis of this theory is better understood if we compare some of the attested Iberian compounds with Basque complex numbers (the dots denote morpheme boundaries and are not normally written in Basque; also note that the final -r in numbers 3 and 4 also occurs in bound forms in Basque i.e. hirur- and laur-):

Iberian word Basque comparison Basque Meaning Basque analysis
abaŕ-ke-bi "twelve" "10-2"
abaŕ-ke-borste hama.bost "fifteen" "10-5"
abaŕ-śei hama.sei "sixteen" "10-6"
oŕkei-irur hogei.ta.hiru "twenty three" "20 and 3"
oŕkei-ke-laur hogei.ta.lau "twenty four" "20 and 4"
oŕkei-abaŕ hogei.ta.(ha)mar "thirty" "20 and 10"
oŕkei-(a)baŕ-ban hogei.ta.(ha)maika "thirty one" "20 and 11"

Even so, Orduña does not claim this comparison to be a proof of a family relation between Iberian and Basque, but rather owing to Iberian loanwords in the Basque language. In contrast, Ferrer believes that the similarities could be caused due to both the genetic relationship or the loan, but indicates that the loan of the entire system of numerals is rare (but has known to occur such as the case of Middle Chinese numeral being borrowed wholesale into Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Thai).

Joseba Lakarra (2010) has rejected both hypotheses: loan or genetic relationship. Lakarra’s arguments focus almost exclusively on the field of Basque historical grammar, but also arguments, following de Hoz (1993) hypothesis, that the hypothesis of the borrowing have already turned out implausible due to the limited and remote extension of the territory where Iberian was spoken as first language in South-East Spain.

Javier de Hoz (2011, pp. 196–198) considers plausible the internal contextual and combinatorial arguments that would support the hypothesis that these Iberian elements could be interpreted as numerals. In fact, concerning the specific values, he considers valid the proposed equivalences between Iberian ban with 'one' and between Iberian erder with 'half', according to the marks of value found in coins, while he considers that the rest of the proposed equivalences are a working hypothesis. Regarding the equivalence between the possible Iberian numerals and the Basque numerals, he agrees with Lakarra (2010) that the shape of the documented Iberian forms does not fit the expected protobasque forms. Finally, he considers that the greatest difficulty in accepting this hypothesis is, paradoxically, its extent and systematic nature, because if it was correct, it would result in a close relationship between Iberian and Basque, which should allow the identification of other relationships between Iberian and Basque subsystems, as clearly as this one, relationships that no investigator using reasonable linguistic arguments has been able to identify.

Eduardo Orduña (2011) insists that the Iberian elements proposed as numerals are not only similar to the Basque numerals, but also they combine as numerals and appear in contexts where numerals are expected. And remarks that Lakarra (2010) does not dispute these arguments [neither does de Hoz (2010)]. As regards the de Hoz hypothesis about considering the Iberian language as a lingua franca, Orduña remarks its hypothetical character, although Lakarra presents that hypothesis as an established fact. The problems of this hypothesis have been collected by Ferrer (2013) in a later work. Regarding the phonetic difficulties indicated by Lakarra, Orduña argues that its proposals are compatible with the Proto-Basque reconstructed of Michelena, which is for chronology and security the reconstruction that an iberist has to consider, while the hypothesis of internal Basque reconstruction of Lakarra has a vague chronology and a much lower degree of security. Finally, contrary to his first opinion in favor of the loan, concludes that the most economical hypothesis to explain the similarities between the Iberian numeral system and the Basque numeral system is the genetic relationship.

Francisco Villar (2014, 259) notes that the similarities between Iberian numerals and Basque numerals are of the same order as those documented among Indo-European languages and consequently argues that the only sustainable hypothesis at this point is the genetic relationship between Iberian and Basque. Villar also believes that if the reconstruction of Proto-Basque proposed by Lakarra (2010) is incompatible with the evidence derived from the numerals, the reconstruction must be corrected, as like all reconstructions, is hypothetical and perfectible.

See also


General works

  • Anderson, James, M. (1988) Ancient Languages of the Hispanic Peninsula, University Press of America, New-York, ISBN 978-0-8191-6731-6.
  • Ballester, Xaverio (2005) Lengua ibérica: hacia un debate tipológico, Palaeohispanica 5, pp. 361–392.
  • Correa Rodríguez, José Antonio (1994) La lengua ibérica, Revista Española de Lingüística 24/2, pp. 263–287.
  • de Hoz Bravo, Javier
(1998) La epigrafía ibérica de los noventa, Revista de Estudios Ibéricos 3, pp. 127–151.
(2001) Hacia una tipología del ibérico, Religión, lengua y cultura preromanas de Hispania, pp. 335–362.
(2011) Historia lingüística de la Península Ibérica en la Antigüedad II. El mundo ibérico prerromano y la indoeuropeización, Madrid, ISBN 978-84-00-09405-8.
  • Panosa Domingo, Mª. Isabel (1999) La escritura ibérica en Cataluña y su contexto socioeconómico (siglos V-I a. C.), Argitalpen Zerbitzua, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Vitoria-Gasteiz, ISBN 84-8373-160-6.
  • Rodríguez Ramos, Jesús (2004) Análisis de Epigrafía Íbera, Vitoria-Gasteiz, ISBN 84-8373-678-0.
  • Untermann, Jürgen
(1980) Monumenta Linguarum Hispanicarum II: Die Inschriften in iberischer Schrift in Südfrankreich, Reichert Verlag, Wiesbaden, ISBN 978-3-88226-098-4.
(1990) Monumenta Linguarum Hispanicarum. III Die iberischen Inschriften aus Spanien, Reichert Verlag, Wiesbaden, ISBN 978-3-88226-491-3.
(1996) Los plomos ibéricos: estado actual de su interpretación, Estudios de lenguas y epigrafía antiguas – ELEA 2, pp. 75–108.
(2001) Die vorrömischen Sprachen der iberischen Halbinsel. Wege und Aporien bei ihrer Entzifferung, Westdeutscher Verlag, Wiesbaden, ISBN 3-531-07375-3.
(2005) La lengua ibérica en el sur de Francia in Oriol Mercadal Fernández (coord) Món ibèric : als Països Catalans : XIII Col•loqui Internacional d'Arqueologia de Puigcerdà : homenatge a Josep Barberà i Farràs : Puigcerdà, 14 i 15 de novembre de 2003 Vol. 2, ISBN 84-933111-2-X , pp. 1083–1100.
  • Valladolid Moya, Juana (1997) La epigrafía ibérica: estado actual de los estudios, Tempus. Revista de Actualización Científica, 17, pp. 5–53.
  • Velaza, Javier (1996) Epigrafía y lengua ibéricas, Barcelona.

Iberian writing

  • Correa Rodríguez, José Antonio (2004) Los semisilabarios ibéricos: algunas cuestiones, Estudios de lenguas y epigrafía Antiguas – ELEA 5, 75-98.
  • de Hoz Bravo, Javier
(1985–86) La escritura greco-ibérica , Veleia 2-3, pp. 285–298
(1989) El desarrollo de la escritura y las lenguas de la zona meridional, Tartessos: Arqueología protohistórica del bajo Guadalquivir, pp. 523–587.
  • Ferrer i Jané, Joan (2005) Novetats sobre el sistema dual de diferenciació gràfica de les oclusives sordes i sonores, Palaeohispanica 5, pp. 957–982.
  • Rodríguez Ramos, Jesús (2002) La escritura ibérica meridional, Zephyrus: Revista de prehistoria y arqueología 55, pp. 231–245.

Lexicon, phonology and grammar

  • Ballester, Xaverio
(2001) Fono(tipo)logía de las (con)sonantes (celt)ibéricas, Religión, lengua y cultura prerromanas de Hispania, 287-303, Salamanca.
(2003) El acento en la reconstrucción lingüística: el caso ibérico, Palaeohispánica 3, pp. 43–57
  • Correa Rodríguez, José Antonio
(1994) La transcripción de las vibrantes en la escriptura paleohispanica, Archivo de Prehistoria Levantina 21, pp. 337–341.
(1999) Las nasales en ibérico, Pueblos, lenguas y escrituras en la Hispania preromana, pp. 375–396, Salamanca.
(2001) Las silbantes en ibérico, in Francisco Villar, María Pilar Fernández Alvárez (coords) Religión, lengua y cultura prerromanas de Hispania ISBN 84-7800-893-4 , pp. 305–318.
  • de Hoz Bravo, Javier
(1981) Algunas precisiones sobre textos metrológicos ibéricos, Archivo de Prehitoria Levantina 40, pp. 475–486.
(2002) El complejo sufijal -(e)sken de la lengua ibérica, Palaeohispánica 2, pp. 159–168
(2003) Las sibilantes ibéricas, in S. Marchesini & P. Poccetti (eds) Linguistica è storia. Sprachwissenschaft ist Geschichte. Scritti in onore di Carlo de Simone, Pisa, 85-97.
  • Faria António M. de (2007) Crónica de onomástica paleo-hispânica (13), Revista Portuguesa de Arqueologia 10:2, 161-187.
  • Ferrer i Jané, Joan.
(2006) (Jorba, Barcelona)Nova lectura de la inscripció ibèrica de La Joncosa, Veleia 23, pp. 129–170.
(2007) Sistemes de marques de valor lèxiques sobre monedes ibèriques, Acta Numismàtica 37, pp. 53–73.
(2009) "El sistema de numerales ibérico: avances en su conocimiento", Palaeohispanica 9, pp. 451–479.
  • Ferrer i Jané, Joan & Giral Royo, Francesc (2007) A propósito de un semis de Ildiŕda con leyenda erder. Marcas de valor léxicas sobre monedas ibéricas, Palaeohispanica 7, pp. 83–89.
  • Lakarra Joseba (2010) Haches, diptongos y otros detalles de alguna importancia: notas sobre numerales (proto)vascos y comparación vasco-ibérica (con un apéndice sobre hiri y otro sobre bat-bi), Veleia 27, pp. 191–238.
  • Luján Martínez, Eugenio Ramón (2005) Los topónimos en las inscripciones ibéricas, Palaeohispanica 5, pp. 471–490.
  • Moncunill Martí, Noemí (2007) Lèxic d'inscripcions ibèriques (1991–2006), doctoral dissertation, UB-Barcelona.
  • Orduña Aznar, Eduardo
(2005) Sobre algunos posibles numerales en textos ibéricos, Palaeohispanica 5, pp. 491–506.
(2006) Segmentación de textos ibéricos y distribución de los segmentos, doctoral dissertation, UNED-Madrid (unpublished doctoral dissertation).
(2008) Ergatividad en ibérico Emerita Vol. 76, Nº 2, pp. 275–302
(2011) Los numerales ibéricos y el protovasco, Veleia 28, pp. 125-139.
  • Pérez Orozco, Santiago (2009) Construcciones posesivas en ibérico, Estudios de lenguas y epigrafía antiguas – ELEA 9, pp. 561–578
  • Quintanilla Niño, Alberto
(1998) Estudios de Fonología Ibérica, Vitoria-Gasteiz, ISBN 84-8373-041-3.
(2005) Palabras de contenido verbal en ibérico, Palaeohispanica 5, pp. 507–520.
  • Rodríguez Ramos, Jesús
(2000b) Vocales y consonantes nasales en la lengua íbera, Faventia 22, Fasc. 2, pp. 25–37.
(2002) Índice crítico de formantes de compuesto de tipo onomástico en la lengua íbera, Cypsela 14, pp. 251–275.
(2002b) Problemas y cuestiones metodológicas en la identificación de los compuestos de tipo onomástico de la lengua íbera, Arse Nº 36, pp. 15–50.
(2004) Sobre los fonemas sibilantes de la lengua íbera, Habis 35, pp. 135–150
  • Siles Ruiz, Jaime (1985) Léxico de inscripciones ibéricas, Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Bellas Artes y Archivos, Madrid, ISBN 978-84-505-1735-4.
  • Silgo Gauche, Luis (1994) Léxico Ibérico Estudios de lenguas y epigrafía Antiguas – ELEA, ISSN 1135-5026, Nº. 1, pages 1–271.
  • Untermann, Jürgen
(1984) Inscripciones sepulcrales ibéricas, Cuadernos de prehistoria y arqueología Castellonenses 10, pp. 111–120
(1985–1986) Las gramática de los plomos ibéricos, Veleia 2-3, pp. 35–56.
(1998) La onomástica ibérica, Iberia 1, pp. 73–85.
(1999) Über den Umgang mit ibersichen Bilinguen in E. Seebold, W. Schindler & J. Untermann Grippe, Kamm und Eulenspiegel: Festschrift für Elmar Seebold zum 65. Geburtstag ISBN 978-3-11-015617-1, pp. 349–358.
  • Velaza Frías, Javier
(1991) Léxico de inscripciones ibéricas: (1976–1989), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, ISBN 84-7875-556-X.
(1994) Iberisch EBAN TEBAN Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 104, 142-150.
(2004) Eban, teban, diez años después, Estudios de lenguas y epigrafía antiguas – ELEA 5, pp. 199–210.
(2002) Ibérico-te, Palaeohispánica 2, pp. 271–275.
(2006) Tras las huellas del femenino en ibérico: una hipótesis de trabajo, Palaeohispánica 6, pp. 247–254

Origins and relationships

  • Ballester, Xaverio (2001) Las adfinitas de las lenguas aquitania e ibérica Palaeohispánica 1, 2001 , pp. 21–33.
  • Ferrer i Jané, Joan (2013):“Los problemas de la hipótesis de la lengua ibérica como lengua vehicular”, E.L.E.A. 13, 115-157.
  • de Hoz Bravo, Javier (1993) La lengua y la escritura ibéricas y las lenguas de los iberos, Lengua y cultura en Hispania prerromana : actas del V Coloquio sobre lenguas y culturas de la Península Ibérica : (Colonia 25-28 de Noviembre de 1989) (Francisco Villar and Jürgen Untermann, eds.), ISBN 84-7481-736-6, Salamanca, pp. 635–666.
  • Gorrochategui Churruca, Joaquín (1993) La onomástica aquitana y su relación con la ibérica, Lengua y cultura en Hispania prerromana : actas del V Coloquio sobre lenguas y culturas de la Península Ibérica : (Colonia 25-28 de Noviembre de 1989) (Francisco Villar and Jürgen Untermann, eds.), ISBN 84-7481-736-6, Salamanca, pp. 609–634.
  • Rodríguez Ramos, Jesús
(2001) La cultura ibérica desde la perspectiva de la epigrafía: un ensayo de síntesis, Iberia: Revista de la Antigüedad 4, pp. 17–38.
(2002) La hipótesis del vascoiberismo desde el punto de vista de la epigrafía íbera, Fontes linguae vasconum: Studia et documenta, 90, pp. 197–218, ISSN 0046-435X.
  • Velaza Frías, Javier (2006) Lengua vs. cultura material: el (viejo) problema de la lengua indígena de Cataluña, Actes de la III Reunió Internacional d'Arqueologia de Calafell (Calafell, 25 al 27 de novembre de 2004), Arqueo Mediterrània 9, 273-280.
  • Villar, Francisco (2014): Indoeuropeos, iberos, vascos y sus parientes, Estratigrafía y cronología de las poblaciones prehistóricas, Universidad de Salamanca, Estudios filológicos.


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Iberian". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Trask, R.L. The History of Basque Routledge: 1997 ISBN 0-415-13116-2
  3. ^ Garatea Grau, Carlos (2005) El problema del cambio lingüístico en Ramón Menéndez Pidal, Munich, p.167
  4. ^ "Partiendo de resultados suficientemente seguros de esta índole se ofrece la identificación de un cierto número de sufijos con funciones morfológicas: -en, -ar y -ḿi, que indican pertenencia y posesividad, -te como señal de ergativo, -ku junto con topónimos como sufijo de ablativo" Jürgen Untermann (2005) "La lengua ibérica en el País Valenciano" in XIII Col·loqui Internacional d'Arqueologia de Puigcerdà. Món Ibèric als Països Catalans ISBN 84-933111-2-X pp. 1135–1150, Puigcerdà, p. 1148.
  5. ^ see also Jürgen Untermann (2005) "La lengua ibérica en el País Valenciano" in XIII Col·loqui Internacional d'Arqueologia de Puigcerdà. Món Ibèric als Països Catalans ISBN 84-933111-2-X pp. 1135–1150, Puigcerdà, p. 1148: "hay que mencionar los monumentos bilingües, muy pocos y muy breves"..."los únicos que aseguran la traducción exacta de dos palabras ibéricas: tebanen "curavit" y aretake "hic situs est". La aparición de ciertas palabras en ciertos tipos de soportes nos permite contar con significados por cierto poco precisos, pero no del todo imposibles: por ejemplo de las palabras seltar, tal vez "tumba", śalir, tal vez "dinero (de plata)", iltir y biur, tal vez "ciudad, comunidad", ekiar "ha fabricado" o "es obra de (un artesano)"."
  6. ^ 'Stadt' / 'Burg' / 'Gemeinde' (Untermann 1990 p. 187ff)
  7. ^ Beltrán Villagrasa, P. (1942) Sobre un interesante vaso escrito de San Miguel de Liria, Valencia, p. 51
  8. ^ Correa 1994, 283: "tumba" / "estela"; Michelena 1979, 36: "doit signifier 'stèle, tombeau', ou quelque chose dans ce genre-là"
  9. ^ Correa 1994, 283: "dinero" / "moneda". Michelena 1979, 36 quotes Tovar 1951: 'valor' / 'moneda'.
  10. ^ Michelena, Luis (1977), pp. 547–548: "[...] cada vez soy más escéptico en cuanto a un parentesco lingüístico ibero-vasco. En el terreno de la onomástica, y en particular de la antroponimia, hay, sin embargo, coincidencias innegables entre ibérico y aquitano y, por consiguiente, entre ibérico y vasco. Como ya he señalado en otros lugares, parece haber habido una especie de pool onomástico, del que varias lenguas, desde el aquitano hasta el idioma de las inscripciones hispánicas en escritura meridional, podían tomar componentes de nombre propios."
  11. ^ Gorrochategui, J. (1984)
  12. ^ Correa, J.A. (1994) pp. 284ff; Untermann, J. (1996) concludes: ya está fuera de duda el que la lengua ibérica tiene algo que ver con la lengua vasca, y aumentan cada vez más los indicios positivos en favor de ello, pero todavía no son suficientes para permitirnos aplicar los métodos acreditados de la lingüística comparativa e histórica (quoted in Rodríguez 2002, p. 197)
  13. ^ Caro Baroja, J. (1951) "Le problème ibérique à la lumière des dernières recherches" Jahrbuch für kleinasiatiche Forschung p. 248–263 (p. 685 in the edition of the link)
  14. ^ Humboldt, W. (1821) Prüfung der Untersuchungen über die Urbewohner Hispaniens vermittelst der vaskischen Sprache, chapter 14. Ortnamen, die von iria abstammen, especially p. 24, Noch unverkennbarer Vaskisch sind die Namen, die von iria herkommen, welches, Stadt und, nach dem handschriftlichen Wörterbuch, auch Ort, Gegend bedeutet and p. 29 (Iliberi = Neustadt)
  15. ^ Rodríguez (2002) p. 201
  16. ^ Untermann, J. (1998) pp. 82f: por su forma exterior muestran un grado tan alto de semejanza con los elementos de la toponimia y antroponimia ibérica que es imposible imputarla a la casualidad
  17. ^ Untermann (1998) 7.5
  18. ^ Schuchardt, H. (1907) "La declinación ibérica" RIEV p. 557.
  19. ^ Michelena 1979, 34
  20. ^ Monumenta Linguae Ibericae, Berlin, 1893, p. 145; Untermann, J. (1990) p. 194
  21. ^ Followed by Bähr (1947) and Tovar (1954) (Silgo Gauche, L. Léxico ibérico, 1994, Valencia, in ELEA 1 ISSN 1135-5026)
  22. ^ Correa (1994) 5.3.3
  23. ^ Gómez Moreno, M. (1949) Misceláneas. Historia, Arte, Arqueología. Madrid. p. 279; Vicente Redón, J.D. et alii (1989) "El mosaico romano con inscripción ibérica de "La Caridad" (Caminreal, Teruel)" Xiloca 3, pp. 9–27, p. 15 footnote 28
  24. ^ Michelena, L. (1990) p. 318; quoted in Rodríguez, J. (2000) "La Lengua Íbera: en Busca del Paradigma Perdido" Revista Internacional d'Humanitats 3 [p. 10]

External links

  • Iberian Epigraphy by Jesús Rodríguez Ramos
  • Searcher of regular expressions in Iberian texts by Eduardo Orduña Aznar
  • La lengua y las escrituras ibéricas, a self-published book by Francisco Castillo Pina [2009, Valencia, ISBN 978-84-931683-4-6].
  • Interesting reproductions of many different inscriptions and its transcription. Iberian alphabets. In Spanish
  • Map of the Pre-Roman Peoples and Languages of Iberia (around 200 BC) by Luis Fraga da Silva
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