Paleo-Sardinian language

Spoken in Corsica et Sardinia
Ethnicity Nuragic civilization
Extinct ca. 2nd century
Language family
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None
Etnie Nuragiche.jpg
Nuragic tribes

Paleo-Sardinian (Paleosardinian) or Paleo-Sardo (Paleosardo), also known as Nuragic, is the pre-Indo-European language (or perhaps languages) of Sardinia and Corsica, which is thought to have left traces in the modern Sardinian language. By the third century, Latin had become the language of Sardinia, and the old language(s) survive mainly in toponyms, which appear to preserve grammatical suffixes, and in a few names of plants. There is toponymic evidence that it may have had connection to Basque or to the pre-Indo-European Iberian language of Spain (Blasco Ferrer, 2010), or maybe to the ancient languages of Sicily.

Archeologist Giovanni Ugas suggested that the three Nuragic peoples may have had separate origins and thus spoke different languages: The Balari from the Balearic Islands and possibly of Iberian origin, the Corsi from the north and possibly of Ligurian origin, and the Iolei / Iliensi from the south and possible Numidian (or perhaps Sicani) origin. The three modern dialects of Gallurese, Logudorese, and Campidanese might reflect that multilingual substratum.

Bertoldi & Terracini[citation needed] propose that the common suffix -ara (with stress on the antepenult) was a plural marker, and indicated a connection to Iberian or to the Paleo-Sicilian languages. Terracini claims a similar connection for the suffix -ànarV, -ànnarV, -énnarV, -ònnarV, as in the personal name Bonnànnaro. A suffix -ini also seems to be characteristic, as in the personal name Barùmini. A suffix or suffixes -arr-, -err-, -orr-, -urr- have been claimed to correspond to Numidia (Terracini), to Iberia (specifically Basque, Blasco Ferrer), to the south of Italy and Gascony (presumably Basque, Rohlfs), and to Basque (Wagner, Hubschmid).

The non-Latin suffixes -ài, -éi, -òi, -ùi survive in modern place names based on Latin roots. Terracini sees connections to Berber. Bertoldi sees an Anatolian connection in the endings -ài, -asài (similar claims have been made of the Elymians of Sicily). A suffix -aiko is also common in Iberia and may have a Celtic origin. The tribal suffix -itani, -etani, as in the Sulcitani, has also been identified as Paleosardinian.

See also


  • Eduardo Blasco Ferrer, ed. 2010. Paleosardo: Le radici linguistiche della Sardegna neolitica (Paleosardo: The Linguistic Roots of Neolithic Sardinian). De Gruyter Mouton.

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