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Language and Linguistic Contact in Ancient Sicily

$39.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Classical Studies

Olga Tribulato, Paolo Poccetti, Simona Marchesini, Maria Giulia Amadasi Guzzo, James Clackson, Gerhard Meiser, Oliver Simkin, Susana Olarte, Albio Cesare Cassio, Andreas Willi, Kalle Korhonen
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  • Date Published: April 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108731720

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About the Authors
  • Within the field of ancient bilingualism, Sicily represents a unique terrain for analysis as a result of its incredibly rich linguistic history, in which 'colonial' languages belonging to branches as diverse as Italic (Oscan and Latin), Greek and Semitic (Phoenician) interacted with the languages of the natives (the elusive Sicel, Sicanian and Elymian). The result of this ancient melting-pot was a culture characterised by 'postcolonial' features such as ethnic hybridity, multilingualism and artistic and literary experimentation. While Greek soon emerged as the leading language, dominating official communication and literature, epigraphic sources and indirect evidence show that the minority languages held their ground down to the fifth century BCE, and in some cases beyond. The first two parts of the volume discuss these languages and their interaction with Greek, while the third part focuses on the sociolinguistic revolution brought about by the arrival of the Romans.

    • The first comprehensive treatment in English of the languages of ancient Sicily down to the Roman imperial period
    • Provides accessible and up-to-date overviews of all the non-Classical languages of ancient Sicily (Sicel and Sicanian, Phoenician, Elymian and Oscan)
    • Addresses linguistic issues within the wider framework of cultural history, according epigraphic texts a prominent role
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108731720
    • dimensions: 215 x 140 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus. 3 maps 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. 'So many Sicilies': introducing language and linguistic contact in ancient Sicily Olga Tribulato
    Part I. Non-Classical Languages:
    1. Language relations in Sicily: evidence for the speech of the Σικανοί, the Σικελοί and others Paolo Poccetti
    2. The Elymian language Simona Marchesini
    3. Phoenician and Punic in Sicily Maria Giulia Amadasi Guzzo
    4. Oscan in Sicily James Clackson
    5. Traces of language contact in Sicilian onomastics: the evidence from the Great Curse of Selinous Gerhard Meiser
    6. Coins and language in ancient Sicily Oliver Simkin
    Part II. Greek:
    7. Sicilian Greek before the fourth century BC: a basic grammar Susana Mimbrera
    8. The Sicilian Doric koine Susana Olarte
    9. Intimations of koine in Sicilian Doric: the information provided by the Antiatticist Albio Cesare Cassio
    10. 'We speak Peloponnesian': tradition and linguistic identity in postclassical Sicilian literature Andreas Willi
    Part III. Latin:
    11. Siculi bilingues? Latin in the inscriptions of early Roman Sicily Olga Tribulato
    12. Sicily in the Roman imperial period: language and society Kalle Korhonen.

  • Editor

    Olga Tribulato, Università degli Studi di Venezia
    Olga Tribulato is Research Fellow in Classics at Ca' Foscari University, Venice. She has published on Greek morphology and dialectology, ancient scientific language, literary dialects and epigraphy, and co-edited Greek and Latin from an Indo-European Perspective (with Coulter George, Matthew McCullagh, Benedicte Nielsen and Antonia Ruppel, 2007).


    Olga Tribulato, Paolo Poccetti, Simona Marchesini, Maria Giulia Amadasi Guzzo, James Clackson, Gerhard Meiser, Oliver Simkin, Susana Olarte, Albio Cesare Cassio, Andreas Willi, Kalle Korhonen

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