Ancient languages and writing systems in contact: a touchstone for language change. - Lingue antiche e sistemi scrittorî in contatto: pietra di paragone del mutamento linguistico
The research group of Roma Sapienza, PI of a funded national project PRIN 2017, investigates phonological developments suspected or evidenced by heterographs, bi- and tri-lingual texts, lexical borrowings, with regard to Greek for the eastern Mediterranean area and Latin for the southern Mediterranean. Accordingly, the following issues are investigated:
- Interference phenomena between Greek and Anatolian: Anatolian mediation of oriental words entering Greek and Greek heterographs/allographs as clues to phonological oppositions not signalled in the source language; relation between the Anatolian languages of the 1st mill. and Greek (also in writing )
- Writing forms in the Iranian area from the Achaemenid to the pre-Islamic phase in terms of possible signs of variation or interference (bilingual or plurilingual competence of the writers); impact of Greek and
- Aramaic on the middle-Iranian writing traditions and Greek-Parthic linguistic interaction
- Evolution of Greek from the classical period to the eastern koinè and Byzantine Greek through comparison with the parallel Syrian tradition
- Graphic interference phenomena as clues to phonological change in the late Latin epigraphy of Tripolitania.
- Surveys will be expected wherever lesser known material may offer relevant clues for Greek and Latin (such as Romance texts in Greek characters in southern Italy, alloglottic inscriptions from Novgorod, Greek andLatin lexical borrowings in Albanian).
Materials hardly used until now or previously unknown are under scrutiny: Greek words of direct or indirect Anatolian influence, multilingual inscriptions from Asia Minor, seals, parchments, coins and (funereal) epigraphs, ostraka and papyri from Tripolitania and Egypt, Syrian religious texts (4th-7th century A.D.) translated from Greek.