A Comparative Grammar of Latin and the Sabellian Languages : The System of Case Syntax

University dissertation from Uppsala : Department of Linguistics and Philology

Abstract: This dissertation is a comparative grammar of the case syntax of Latin and the Sabellian languages. The Sabellian languages were a group of Indo-European languages on the Italian peninsula, attested in inscriptions approx. 650 – 50 BCE. The main question of the study concerns the ultimate relationship between Latin and the Sabellian languages, considering the large number of similarities found within these linguistic systems, in all areas of language.According to some scholars these similarities should be ascribed to the fact that the languages in question were spoken in the same area, the geographically limited region of the Italian peninsula, for a long time. According to others, the similarities are such that we have to assume a common Proto-Italic language stage after the split from Western Proto-Indo-European.Earlier research into this problem has traditionally focused on the more common areas within comparative and historical linguistics, that is the vocabulary, the phonology and the morphology. This thesis considers the structures of syntax, with a focus on case. The last attempts to describe the Sabellian case syntax are now over a century old and much new material has since then appeared.The system met with in the Sabellian material is compared to the data met with in other early Indo-European languages and especially to the Latin data. The extent to which the structures found in Latin and Sabellian are specific to these two languages and to what extent they represent their common Proto-Indo-European heritage is discussed. The evidence drawn from the syntactic comparison made in this work contributes towards establishing a hypothetical common Proto-Italic language stage.

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