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Encyclopedia > Ligurian language

The Ligurian language was spoken in pre-Roman times and into the Roman era by an ancient people of north-western Italy and south-eastern France known as the Ligures. Very little is known about this language (mainly place names and personal names remain) which is generally believed to have been Indo-European; it appears to have adopted significantly from other Indo-European languages, primarily Celtic (Gaulish) and Italic (Latin). The Ligures (Ligurians) were an ancient people who gave their name to Liguria, which once stretched from Northern Italy into southern Gaul. ... The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred languages and dialects (443 according to the SIL estimate), including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many in Southwest Asia, Central Asia and Southern Asia. ... The Celtic languages are the languages descended from Proto-Celtic, or Common Celtic, spoken by ancient and modern Celts alike. ... Gaulish is the name given to the Celtic language that was spoken in Gaul before the Vulgar Latin of the late Roman Empire became dominant in Roman Gaul. ... The Italic subfamily is a member of the Centum branch of the Indo-European language family. ...


Xavier Delamarre argues that Ligurian was a Celtic language, similar to but not the same as Gaulish. His argument hinges on two points: firstly, the Ligurian place-name Genua (modern Genoa, located near a river mouth) is claimed by Delamarre to derive from PIE *genu-, "chin(bone)". Many Indo-European languages use 'mouth' to mean the part of a river which meets the sea or a lake, but it is only in Goidelic that PIE *genu- means 'mouth'. Besides Genua, which is considered Ligurian (Delamarre 2003, p. 177), this is found also in Genava (modern Geneva), which may be Gaulish. However, Genua and Genava may well derive from another PIE root with the form *genu-, which means "knee" (so in Pokorny, IEW [1]). Location within Italy Genoa (Italian Genova, Genoese (dialect of Ligurian) Zena, French Gênes, German Genua, Spanish Génova, Galician Xénova) is a city and a seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria. ... The Murray River in Australia. ... The Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) is the hypothetical common ancestor of the Indo-European languages. ... Goidelic is one of two major divisions of modern-day Celtic languages (the other being Brythonic). ... Geneva (pronunciation //; French: Genève //, German: //, Italian: Ginevra) is the second most populous city in Switzerland, situated where Lake Geneva (French Lac Léman) flows into the Rhône River. ... Gaulish is name given to the now-extinct Celtic language that was spoken in Gaul before the Romans, the Franks and the British Celts invaded. ... An x-ray of a human knee In human anatomy, the knee is the leg joint connecting the femur and the tibia. ...


Delamarre's second point is Plutarch's mention (Marius 10, 5-6) that during the Battle of Aquae Sextiae in 102 BC, the Ambrones (who may have been a Celtic tribe) began to shout "Ambrones!" as their battle-cry; the Ligurian troops fighting for the Romans, on hearing this cry, found that it was identical to an ancient name in their country which the Ligurians often used when speaking of their descent (outôs kata genos onomazousi Ligues), so they returned the shout, "Ambrones!". Plutarch Mestrius Plutarchus (c. ... Combatants Teutones Roman Republic Commanders King Teutobod Gaius Marius Strength over 110,000 about 40,000 (6 legions with cavalry and auxillaries) Casualties 90,000 killed 20,000 captured Insignificant, probably under 1,000 The Battle of Aquae Sextiae (Aix-en-Provence) took place in 102 BC. After a string... Centuries: 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC Decades: 150s BC 140s BC 130s BC 120s BC 110s BC - 100s BC - 90s BC 80s BC 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC Years: 107 BC 106 BC 105 BC 104 BC 103 BC - 102 BC - 101 BC 100 BC... The tribe of the Ambrones appears briefly in the sources relating to the 2nd century BC, splashes meteorically across the pages of Roman history, and just as quickly disappears. ... See also Roman Republic (18th century) and Roman Republic (19th century). ...


Delamarre points out a risk of circular logic - if it is believed that the Ligurians are non-Celtic, and if many place names and tribal names that classical authors state are Ligurian seem to be Celtic, it is incorrect to discard all the Celtic ones when collecting Ligurian words and to use this edited corpus to demonstrate that Ligurian is non-Celtic or non-Indo-European.


Strabo on the other hand states "As for the Alps... Many tribes (éthnê) occupy these mountains, all Celtic (Keltikà) except the Ligurians; but while these Ligurians belong to a different people (hetero-ethneis), still they are similar to the Celts in their modes of life (bíois)." the Greek georgapher Strabo, in a 16th‑century engraving. ... The West face of the Petit Dru above the Chamonix valley near the Mer de Glace. ...


The Ligurian-Celtic question is also discussed by Barruol (1999).


Herodotus (5.9) wrote that sigunnai meant 'hucksters, peddlers' among the Ligurians who lived above Massilia. Bust of Herodotus at Naples Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: , Herodotos) was a historian who lived in the 5th century BC (484 BC-ca. ... Sigynnae (EcyGvvat, Eiyevvoc), an obscure people of antiquity. ... Marseilles redirects here. ...


See also

A map of Gaul showing the relative position of the Sequani tribe. ... Sigynnae (EcyGvvat, Eiyevvoc), an obscure people of antiquity. ...

References

  • Barruol, G. (1999) Les peuples pré-romains du sud-est de la Gaule - Etude de géographie historique, 2d ed., Paris
  • Delamarre, X. (2003). Dictionaire de la Langue Gauloise (2nd ed.). Paris: Editions Errance. ISBN 2-287772-237-6
  • Strabo (1917) The Geography of Strabo I. Horace Jones, translator. Loeb Classical Library. London, William Heineman.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Ligurian language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (325 words)
The Ligurian language was spoken in pre-Roman times and into the Roman era by an ancient people of north-western Italy and south-eastern France known as the Ligures.
Very little is known about this language (mainly place names and personal names remain) which is generally believed to have been Indo-European; it appears to have adopted significantly from other Indo-European languages, primarily Celtic (Gaulish) and Italic (Latin).
Many Indo-European languages use 'mouth' to mean the part of a river which meets the sea or a lake, but it is only in Goidelic that PIE *genu- means 'mouth'.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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