4.10. Lusitanian

4.10.1. Lusitanian evolution

Lusitanian (Lus.) is the fragmentary language attested (ca. 1st c. BC – AD 2nd c.) from five short inscriptions and “quasi-Lusitanian” texts (short Latin inscriptions with isolated Lusitanian forms) of the Lusitani, which, together with onomastic material and divine names and epithets, place-names, and lexical material, have made scholars proposed a Lusitano-Galician group extended over Central-West and North-West Iberia in Pre-Roman times.

Some common traits include (Prósper 1999; Prósper and Villar 2009; Stifter 2018):

·       *e raised to mid-high ı before tautosyllabic nasals.

·       At least in final syllables *-ei Lus. ē.

·       Lowering of *o to *u in contact with occlusives or labial nasals; *ō to *ū, at least in final syllable.

·       There is an example of ou < *eu, but there are others in eu, which separates the language from Italic.

·       * is lost in *-oí/e-.

·       Reduction of long diphthong after --, cf. *-ōi -ē or maybe *-āi -ē.

·       Voiceless stops become voiced (“lenited”) between vowels and after resonants (*t d, *k g) but this did not attain phonemic status: dialectally restricted to the north, and temporarily to later stages; cf. NWIE *gw(e)m-tu- ‘causeway’ into the Galaico-Lusitanian divinity *bandu- (Prósper 2000).

·       Probably Lus. f (possibly also b, p) < *bh, but b < *b; Lus. Ø < *h < *gh, but g/Ø < *g; Lus. r < *d, but d < *dh.

·       Reduction of group *ns (e.g. in accusative plural) → *s.

·       Probable (at least dialectal) trend to the loss of *s in final position, maybe only when preceded by long vowel or when preconsonantal. Supported by possible aspiration initially and medially.

·       Palatalisation of group *-k- šrepresented as <S>.

·       General output of syllabic * an-. Loss of nasals before fricatives.

·       No merge of *k and *kw, which sets it apart from West Indo-European languages: *kw Lus. p, *k Lus. qu; cf. Iccona <*Ekkwona, comparable to Gaul. equine goddess Epona. It is unclear how the evolution *eku̯o- → *ekko- → *ekko- → ikko- (similar to Proto-Greek) affected the whole territory, but it seems that the absortion of -u̯- did not reach the northern regions of Callaecia and the Conventus Asturum.

·       Assimilatory result of labial + labiovelar *p...kw > *kw...kw, cf. <PVMPI>.

·       Accent not word final (based on vowel reductions).

Morphological features include:

·       Maybe thematic gen. sg. in -o, as in Celtiberian, although possibly an instrumental.

·       Vacillating dative singular:

o   dat. masc. in -<VI> (=-ūi < *-ōi);

o   dat. sg. masc. thematic in -<E> from stems in *-o- (maybe feminine, see above);

o   dat. sg. fem. in -<A>.

o   dat. sg. athematic in -<I> or -<E>.

·       Ablative in -d spread outside thematic stems.

·       In several instances o-stem adjectives agree with ā-stem nouns.

·       Superlative in -tamo-.

·       Subordinating iom or correlative with demonstrative etom; isaiccid and puppid (if < *kwodkwid) could be correlatives.

·       No loss of final *-i, at least in endings 3sg. -ti and 3pl. -nti.

·       Conjunctive indi.

·       Possibly SVO order. Adjectives follow head noun, and potential cases of postpositions.

·       Lexicon porcom (with initial p, different from Proto-Celtic), taurom, oilam (<*ou̯i-lā, different from Celtic and Italic).

·       Productive adjectival formations in -k (as in neighbouring Celtiberian) and -o/ā-.

The earliest expansion of a Lusitano-Galician group, based on the known distribution of onomastic and toponymic materials, may be related to the expansion of statue-menhirs in the north-east (around the Minho and Douro, up to the Tagus River) and anthropomorphic stelae in the south-west (around the Tagus, Guadiana, and Guadalquivir rivers) from the mid–2nd millennium BC. The lack of typical changes in common with West Indo-European dialects, and its clear origin in the North-West Indo-European community, puts its expansion in parallel with that of Italo-Celtic, hence probably in the late 3rd millennium BC.

4.10.2. Schleicher’s fable in Proto-Lusitanian

The following is a tentative version of the fable in Proto-Lusitanian, based on the scarce data available, assuming a close similarity with the Italo-Celtic group.

ohilā indi ekku̯ūs

ohilā i̯āi ne est flānā

feiðet ekku̯os;

som fehontəm gurum fehom,

som maɣom φorom,

som φerontəm oku xəmonim.

ohilā feupet ekkoβos:

“kərdi ahetor mehē,

fiðintē firom aɣontim ekku̯os.

feupont ekku̯ūs: “kluði, ohilā!

kərdi ahetor nosβē fiðintφos:

firos, potis, ohilāis flānād

pirneuti seβē xwormom festim.

indi ohilāis ne esti flānā.”

klufos estūd, ohilā φuɣet aɣrom.