Phrygian language


Phrygian language

Infobox Language
name = Phrygian
region = Central Asia Minor
extinct = Fifth century
familycolor = Indo-European
iso2=ine
iso3=xpg
The Phrygian language was the Indo-European language of the Phrygians, a people from Thrace who later migrated to Asia Minor.

Inscriptions

Phrygian is attested by two corpora, one from around 800 BC and later (Paleo-Phrygian), and then after a period of several centuries from around the beginning of the Common Era (Neo-Phrygian). The Palaeo-Phrygian corpus is further divided (geographically) into inscriptions of Midas-city (M, W), Gordion, Central (C), Bithynia (B), Pteria (P), Tyana (T), Daskyleion (Dask), Bayindir (Bay), and "various" (Dd, "documents divers"). The Mysian inscriptions seem to be in a separate dialect (in an alphabet with an additional letter, "Mysian s").

It survived at least into the sixth century AD. [Peter Charanis, "Ethnic Changes in the Byzantine Empire in the Seventh Century", "Dumbarton Oaks Papers" 13:23 (1959) [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0070-7546%281959%2913%3C23%3AECITBE%3E2.0.CO%3B2-V at JSTOR] ]

We can reconstruct some words with the help of some inscriptions written with a script similar to the Greek.

ources

Ancient historians and myths sometimes did associate Phrygian with Thracian and maybe even the Armenian, on grounds of classical sources. Herodotus recorded the Macedonian account that Phrygians emigrated into Asia Minor from Thrace (7.73). Later in the text (7.73), Herodotus states that the Armenians were colonists of the Phrygians, still considered the same in the time of Xerxes I. The earliest mention of Phrygian in Greek sources, in the "Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite", depicts it as different from Trojan: in the hymn, Aphrodite, disguising herself as a mortal to seduce the Trojan prince Anchises, tells him

Of Trojan, unfortunately, nothing is known.

Classification

The Phrygian language was most likely close to Thracian, Armenian and Greek. In most cases the Phrygian language used an alphabet originating with the Phoenicians. The available inscriptions in the Phrygian language have not yet been translated. Inscriptions which used a script close to the Greek, have been translated, and some of the Phrygian vocabulary identified. [ [http://i-cias.com/e.o//phrygia.htm Encyclopedia of the Orient - Phrygia] ]

Grammar

Its structure, what can be recovered from it, was typically Indo-European, with nouns declined for case (at least four), gender (three) and number (singular and plural), while the verbs are conjugated for tense, voice, mood, person and number. No single word is attested in all its inflectional forms.

Many words in Phrygian are very similar to the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language (PIE). Phrygian seems to exhibit an augment, like Greek and Armenian, c.f. "eberet", probably corresponding to PIE "*e-bher-e-t" (Greek "epheret").

Vocabulary

A sizable body of Phrygian words are theoretically known; however, the meaning and etymologies and even correct forms of many Phrygian words (mostly extracted from inscriptions) are still being debated.

A famous Phrygian word is "bekos", meaning "bread" . According to Herodotus ("Histories" 2.9) Pharaoh Psammetichus I wanted to establish the original language. For this purpose, he ordered two children to be reared by a shepherd, forbidding him to let them hear a single word, and charging him to report the children's first utterance. After two years, the shepherd reported that on entering their chamber, the children came up to him, extending their hands, calling "bekos". Upon enquiry, the pharaoh discovered that this was the Phrygian word for "wheat bread", after which the Egyptians conceded that the Phrygian nation was older than theirs. The word "bekos" is also attested several times in Palaeo-Phrygian inscriptions on funerary stelae. Many modern scholars suggest that it is cognate to English "bake" (PIE *"bheHg-"). [and to Albanian "buke".The etymology is defended in O. Panagl & B. Kowal, "Zur etymologischen Darstellung von Restsprachen", in: A. Bammesberger (ed.), "Das etymologische Wörterbuch", Regensburg 1983, 186-7. It is contested in Benjamin W. Fortson, "Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction", Blackwell, 2004. ISBN 1405103167. p. 409.]

Acccording to Clement of Alexandria, the Phrygian word "bedu" (Polytonic|βέδυ) meaning "water" (PIE *"wed") appeared in Orphic ritual. [Clement, "Stromata" 5.8.46-47] In the same source (quoting one Neanthus of Cyzicus), the Macedonians are said to have worshipped a god called Bedu, which they interpreted as "air".

Other Phrygian words include:

*anar, 'husband', from PIE "*ner-" 'man';::cf. Gk: "anēr (Polytonic|ἀνήρ)" "man, husband", Alb: "njeri" "man, person", Kur: "nēr (nêr)" "male".
*attagos, 'goat';::cf. Arm: "tik" "leather skin", Ger: "Ziege" "she-goat", Alb: "dhi" "she-goat", Wakhi "tiγ" "goat call", Ishkashmi "dec" "goatskin bag".
*Bagaios, "Zeus", from PIE *"bheh2gos" "apportioner";::cf. Avestan "baga" "good fortune, share", Skt "bhága" "the apportioner", Toch A "pāk" "share, part", Toch B "pāke" "share, part".
*balaios, 'large, fast', from PIE "*bel-" 'strong';::cognate to Gk: "belteros (Polytonic|βέλτερος)" "better", Rus: "bol'šój" "large, great", Welsh: "balch" "proud", Kur: "balaz (belez)" "fast"
*belte, 'swamp', from PIE *"bhel-", 'to gleam';::cognate to Gk: "baltos (Polytonic|βάλτος)" "swamp", Alb: "baltë" (silt, mud), Rom: baltă, Bulg: "блато (blato) /'blatɔ/" (Old Bulg: "балто (balto) /'balta/") "swamp",Rus: "болото (boloto) /bə'lotɔ/" "swamp", Lith: "baltas" "white", Rus: "бледный (bledny) /'blednəj/" and Bulg "бледен (bleden) /bledən/" "pale".
*brater, 'brother', from PIE "*bhrater-", 'brother';::cognate to Gk: "phrātēr (Polytonic|φρατήρ)" "clansman, kin", Per: "bratar", 'brother',Rus and Bulg: "brat" "brother", Kur: "bra/bradar (bbra/brader)" "brother".
*daket, 'does, causes', PIE "*dhe-k-", 'to set, put';::cognate to Lat: "facere" "to do, make", Gk: "tithenai (Polytonic|τιθέναι)" "to put, place, set" Kur: "dakat" (dekat/dikit) "does, causes"
*germe, 'warm', PIE "*gwher-", 'warm';::cognate to Gk: "thermos" (Polytonic|θερμός) "warm", Kur: "germ" "warm" , Per: "garm" "warm", Arm: "ĵerm" "warm", Alb: "zjarm" "warm".
*kakon, 'harm, ill', PIE "*kaka-", 'harm';::cf. Gk: "kakós (Polytonic|κακός)" "bad", Alb: "keq" "bad, evil", Lith: "keñti" "to be evil".
*knoumane, 'grave', maybe from PIE "*knu-", 'to scratch';::cognate to Gk: "knaō (Polytonic|κνάω)" "to scratch", OHG: "hnuo" "notch, groove", "nuoen" "to smooth out with a scraper", Lith: "knisti" "to dig".
*manka, 'stela'.
*mater, 'mother', from PIE "*mater-", 'mother';::cf. Gk: "mētēr (Polytonic|μήτηρ)" "mother", Per: "madar" "mother", Alb: "motër" "sister" Kur: "ma/mê" "mother/female"
*meka, 'great', from PIE "*meg-", 'great';::Gk: "megas" "great"; , Arm "metz" "great"; , Kur: "mezn (mezin)" "great"
*zamelon, 'slave', PIE "*dhghom-", 'earth';::Gk: "chamēlos (Polytonic|χαμηλός)" "adj. on the ground, low", Srb/Cro: "zèmlja" and Bulg: "zèmya"/"zèmlishte" "earth/land", Lat: "humilis" "low".

References

ee also

*Paleo Balkan languages
*Ancient Macedonian language
*Thracian language
*Greek language
*Armenian language
*Alphabets of Asia Minor

External links

* [http://titus.fkidg1.uni-frankfurt.de/texte/etcs/phrygian/phryg.htm Corpus of Phrygian inscriptions]
* [http://www.indo-european.nl/cgi-bin/response.cgi?root=leiden&morpho=0&basename=dataiephrygian&first=1 Lubotsky's Phrygian Etymological Database (incomplete)]
* [http://www.britannica.com/eb/topic-458397/Phrygian-language Phrygian language] -Britannica.com
* [http://www.maravot.com/Phrygian.html Translation of Phrygian scripts] -maravot.com/


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Phrygian language —       ancient Indo European language (Indo European languages) of west central Anatolia. Textual evidence for Phrygian falls into two distinct groups. Old Phrygian texts date from the 8th to 3rd centuries BCE and are written in an alphabet… …   Universalium

  • Phrygian — can refer to: *A person from Phrygia *Phrygian cap once characteristic of the region * Phrygian language *Phrygian mode in music * Phrygian Valley, a historic location in northwestern Turkey …   Wikipedia

  • Phrygian — [frij′ē ən, frij′ən] adj. of Phrygia or its people, language, or culture n. 1. a person born or living in Phrygia 2. the extinct Indo European language of the ancient Phrygians, preserved only in fragmentary inscriptions …   English World dictionary

  • Language deprivation experiments — have been attempted several times through history, isolating infants from the normal use of spoken or signed language in an attempt to discover the fundamental character of human nature or the origins of language. The American literary scholar… …   Wikipedia

  • language — /lang gwij/, n. 1. a body of words and the systems for their use common to a people who are of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural tradition: the two languages of Belgium; a Bantu language; the French… …   Universalium

  • Phrygian — n. & adj. n. 1 a native or inhabitant of ancient Phrygia in central Asia Minor. 2 the language of this people. adj. of or relating to Phrygia or its people or language. Phrases and idioms: Phrygian bonnet (or cap) an ancient conical cap with the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Phrygian — 1. adjective Of or relating to Phrygia, its people, their language, or their culture. 2. noun a) A native or inhabitant of Phrygia. b) The language of the Phrygian people …   Wiktionary

  • language — Synonyms and related words: Abnaki, Afghan, Afghani, Afrikaans, Afro Asiatic, Ainu, Akan, Akkadian, Albanian, Aleut, Algonquian, Algonquin, Amharic, Anatolian, Anatolic, Andaman, Annamese, Anzanite, Apache, Arabic, Aramaic, Araucanian, Arawak,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • Phrygian — noun Date: 15th century 1. a native or inhabitant of ancient Phrygia 2. the extinct Indo European language of the Phrygians see Indo European languages table • Phrygian adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Phrygian — /frij ee euhn/, adj. 1. of or pertaining to Phrygia, its people, or their language. n. 2. a native or inhabitant of Phrygia. 3. an Indo European language that was the language of Phrygia. [1570 80; < L Phrygianus. See PHRYGIA, AN] * * * …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.