World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Eteocypriot

Article Id: WHEBN0027642490
Reproduction Date:

Title: Eteocypriot  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Cyprus, History of Cyprus, Hellenization, Cypriot syllabary, Eteocretan language, Idalium, Cypriot dialect, Tyrsenian languages, West Semitic languages, Cypro-Minoan syllabary
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Eteocypriot

Eteocypriot
Native to Formerly spoken in Cyprus
Region Eastern Mediterranean Sea
Era 10th to 4th century BCE
Language family
Language codes
ISO 639-3 ecy
Linguist List
 
 
 
 
 

Eteocypriot was a pre-Indo-European language spoken in Iron Age Cyprus. The name means "true" or "original Cyprian" parallel to Eteocretan, both of which names are used by modern scholarship to mean the pre-Greek languages of those places.[1] Eteocypriot was written in the Cypriot syllabary, a syllabic script derived from Linear A (via the Cypro-Minoan variant Linear C). The language was under pressure from Arcadocypriot Greek from about the 10th century BC and finally became extinct in about the 4th century BC.

The language is as yet unknown except for a small vocabulary attested in bilingual inscriptions. Such topics as syntax and possible inflection or agglutination remain a mystery. Partial translations depend to a large extent on the language or language group assumed by the translator, but there is no consistency. It is conjectured by some linguists to be related to the Etruscan and Lemnian languages, and by others to be Northwest Semitic. Those who do not advocate any of those theories often adopt the default of an unknown pre-Greek language. Due to the small number of texts found, there is currently much unproven speculation.

The Amathus Bilingual

The most famous Eteocypriot inscription is a bilingual text inscribed on a black marble slab found on the acropolis of Amathus about 1913, dated to around 600 BC and written in both the Attic dialect of Ancient Greek and Eteocypriot. The Eteocypriot text in Cypriot characters runs right to left; the Greek text in all capital Greek letters, left to right. The following are the syllabic values of the symbols of the Eteocypriot text (left to right) and the Greek text as is:

Eteocypriot:
1: a-na ma-to-ri u-mi-e-s[a]-i mu-ku-la-i la-sa-na a-ri-si-to-no-se a-ra-to-wa-na-ka-so-ko-o-se
2: ke-ra-ke-re-tu-lo-se ta-ka-na-[?-?]-so-ti a-lo ka-i-li-po-ti[2]
A suggested pronunciation is:
1: Ana mator-i um-iesa-i Mukula-i Lasana Ariston-ose Artowanaksoko-ose
2: kera keretul-ose. Ta kana (kuno) sot-i, ail-o kail-i pot-i.
Greek:
3: Η ПΟΛΙΣ Η АΜАΘΟΥΣΙΩΝ ΑΡΙΣΤΩΝΑ
4: ΑΡΙΣΤΩΝΑΚΤΟΣ ΕΥΠΑΤΡΙΔΗΝ
which might be rendered into modern script as:
3: Ἡ πόλις ἡ Ἀμαθουσίων Ἀριστῶνα
4: 'Ἀριστώνακτος, εὐπατρίδην.
A suggested translation is:
The polis of Amathusians, to Ariston (son of) Aristonax, nobleman.

Cyrus Gordon translates this text as

The city of the Amathusans (honored) the noble Ariston (son) of Aristonax.[3]

Gordon's translation is based on Greek inscriptions in general and the fact that "the noble Ariston" is in the accusative case, implying a transitive verb. Gordon explains that "the verb is omitted ... in such dedicatory inscriptions". The grammar of the Greek, however, is not necessarily that of the Eteocypriot.

The inscription is important as verifying that the symbols of the unknown language do in fact have about the same phonetic values as they do when they are used to represent Greek. Gordon says "This bilingual proves that the signs in Eteocypriot texts have the same values as in the Cypriot Greek texts, ...."[3] However, as a bilingual it uses only a few Greek syllables to translate many Eteocypriot ones, which adds to its mystery.

See also

References

Sources

  • Jones Tom B., Notes on the Eteocypriot inscriptions, American journal of philology. LXXI 1950, c. 401–407

External links

  • этеокипрское ('EteoCypriot', in Russian)
  • Omniglot – The Cypriot Syllabry
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.