ETYMOLOGICAL PARALLELISM IN INSCRIPTIONS, TRIBAL NAMES, TOPONYMS, HYDRONYMS, AND WORD COMPOUNDING FROM ANCIENT GAUL
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The etymology of the 65 Slavenetic inscriptions from the south of ancient Gaul is mirrored in the toponymy and tribal names. This parallelism is continued in the names of places and tribes containing two-pronged word compounding. This is particularly compelling in that each of the tines has an individual, though complimentary, meaning of its own. However, what transcends even these in persuasiveness is the consistency of the grammatically parsed morphology in the inscriptions. Passage after passage attests to it. A conclusion that the Slavenetic flourished in the south of ancient Gaul from as early as the 3rd century BC from east of the Rhone as far as the Atlantic, and included Armorica, becomes inescapable. Evident from later inscriptions is also the fact that the language survived for many centuries. Only the encroaching lilt of the langue d’oc in the east and the Occitan in the west extinguished it.
Scholars of continental Celtic history and language face a dilemma of ambivalence and uncertainty. To a large degree, the ambiguity arises from the fact that things obviously not Celtic, such as the Caldron of Gundestrup, have far too often been claimed as such.
A concrete example can be seen in the Celtic mode of fighting. Polybius reports that a Celt went into battle naked, except for his helmet, neck torque, and belt. Thus attired, he felt himself to be protected by a higher power. Yet, on the Caldron of Gundestrup, claimed to be of Celtic provenance, the warrior marches into battle clothed in tight-fitting trousers. The very name of Kelt is synonymous with the “kilt” he wears. Therefore, the warrior on the Caldron of Gundestrup cannot possibly portray a Celt.
Warrior - Caldron of Gundestrup
Another case in point: human sacrifices were purportedly conducted by Celts in oak groves and the victims bled so that blood drenched the altar. The sacrificial victim depicted on the Caldron of Gundestrup, on the other hand, is a youngster being pitched (“DAN NOT” - Text Inscription 33, (Dottin 1985) by the priest into the sacred cinerary shaft.
Human Sacrifice - Caldron of Gundestrup
A similar attitude of appropriation has pervaded the linguistic research in the 65 Slavenetic inscriptions found in the south of France, south of the Loire River. Since this area had been part of ancient Gaul, the immediate assumption was that these were Gaulish, i.e. Celtic inscriptions. This erroneous assumption has been left unchallenged in spite of the fact that the parameters of the La Tène culture never extended beyond the Loire. Furthermore, except in the extreme upper headwaters, the La Tène culture did not even spread south of the Danube. Please see the map on page 1073, vol. 3, of the Encyclopoedia Britannica (Hemingway-Benton 1973-74) (from Grossen Historischen Weltatlas, vol. 1, Vorgeschichte und Altertum, 1963; Bayerisher Schulbuch - Verlag, Munich) (Grossen 1963).
Significance of Inscriptions
In respect to the linguistic provenance of the inscriptions, the guarded noncommital expressed by the Encyclopoedia Britannica (Hemingway-Benton 1973-74) should be noted. In vol. 4, page 437, it states: “Gaulish is attested by inscriptions from France and Northern Italy. Modern knowledge of the vocabulary and sounds of Gaulish is slight, and its exact relation to the Celtic language of Britain and Ireland is not clear.” It continues in an expanded article: “In the territory of ancient Gaul, now occupied by France, about 60 stone inscriptions in the language known as Gaulish were found. They date from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD. For the older inscriptions, the Greek alphabet was used, for the more recent, the Roman characters of the imperial period.”
erroneous assumption that the Slavenetic inscriptions fall within the Celtic
ambit have caused nothing but frustration to four generations of Celtic linguists.
As recently as 1980, the famous Celtic scholar, Léon Fleuriot, devoted much
of the year to the decryption and translation of what is known as the Lezoux-Plate
inscription, without the faintest scintilla of success. Parts of the plate
having broken off and vanished, we only have a portion of the inscription.
But, I hope I do not exaggerate when I say that, of what remains, the average
Slovenian would be able to make substantial sense of the import of the passage
without too much difficulty.
What appears on the back of the plate are the do’s and don’ts addressed to the family’s young son. Readily recognizable are such phrases as: “JEŠ TI ∂N KON” (you eat a horse), “GOR JO SED” (sit up), “SAMO BIJ MOLATUS” (only say your prayers), “PAPEJ BOVDI, NE TE TU (TAM) [eat here, not there, here (and yonder)], “NUGNATE NE DAMA GUSSOV” (we do not give you kisses), “VE ROV NE CURRI” (do not leak into the ditch), “SIT BIO, BER TO” (when you are full, read this).
Of some seventy-five-odd inscriptions heretofore called Gaulish, only about a dozen appear to be Celtic. Prominent among them is the purportedly Druid Calendar of Coligny (Text Inscription 53, Dottin 1985). Of the remainder, 65 are unquestionably Slavenetic. Of these, 44 have been translated in my books Adieu to Brittany (Ambrozic 1999) and Journey Back to the Garumna (Ambrozic 2000). I will now review the rest. An explanatory parsing appears in Appendix B.
We have to bear in mind the logistical problems facing the Slaveneti when it came to conveying their sound values by means of the Greek or the Latin alphabets. The Greek had no letters C, H, J, V, and Z, the Latin no J; neither had a separate symbol for the frequent Slavic sibilants Č, Š, and Ž, let alone the half-sounds (∂) that proliferate in dialectal Slovenian. As a result, we find a number of ingenious adaptations in the inscriptions. Without delving into an extensive evaluation of these adaptations, for which in any event there is no hard and fast rule, I only refer to the more prominent ones.
One is the often-encountered akanje (akanye). Akanje is the substitution of an A-sound for a short O, or, on occasions, for even other vowels. In the toponymy of the south of France, it occurs so frequently that I have decided to call the language of the inscriptions from ancient Gaul as Slavenetic rather than Slovenetic. This also gives them an individual identifying imprint.
Also appearing often is the phenomenon of betatism. Betatism is an interchange among letters B, V, and P. These letters share a similarity of sound originating in the labial area of the mouth. The original Venetic alphabet reflected this exchange by having the same symbol for both B and V.
Another adaptive feature is the U-sound. Expressed on occasions by the Latin
V, it is often omitted. It is never inscribed at the end of participles. However,
it is not entirely improbable that it was not sounded at all. Today’s Croatian
vernacular of Dalmatia and Lika invariably omits it. As a result, we encounter
verbs in a transitive, iterative, uncompleted-action form in instances where
today’s Slovenian literary usage calls for an intransitive verb. Let us now
proceed to the inscriptions.
Found in 1950 in the temple embankment at Glanum (St. Rémy, Bouches-du-Rhône), the inscription appears as G-65 in La Langue Gauloise (Lambert 1995).
Transcription and Division: KORNELIA, RO K LOICIA BO BRATOY,
D E KANT.
Pronounciational Guide: KORNELIA, ROU K LOJCJA BO VRATOJ, D∂ JE
Literary Slovenian: KORNELIJA, KO BI ROV (GROB) LOVCA VRNIL,
DA BO KONEC.
English Translation: Cornelia, may the grave return the hunter, so that it is ended.
Appearing as Text Inscription 44 in La Langue Gauloise, (Dottin 1985) it comes from Banassac (Lozère). Found in 1872, it is engraved on a small urn, now kept at the museum at Saint-Germain. The inscription is a fine example of improvisation for the lack of letter J in the Latin alphabet. Here, it is supplemented by letter I in two instances.
Transcription and Division: NII D DAM ON
Pronounciational Guide: NIJ D∂ DAM ON DJILGU LINOT
Dialectal Slovenian: NEJ SE ON DAM DOLGU LENI
Literary Slovenian: NAJ SE ON DOMA DOLGO LENI
English Translation: May he laze at home for a long time.
Loose Translation: May he forever find a resting place at home.
What we also encounter here is an ikanje (eekanye) mirror image of the akanje phenomenon.
Stèle found in 1894 on a fortified mound from the high Middle Ages at Genouilly, 10 kms southwest of Vierzon, now in Bourges museum. It appears as L-4 in La Langue Gauloise (Lambert 1995).
Transcription and Division: EL VON TI V IEVRV . AN E V NO
OCLICNO . LUG VRIKS AN E VNICNO.
Pronounciational Guide (also dialectal Slovenian, except for the metathesized VRISK for VRIKS):
JEL VON TI V IEVRV . AN JE V NO
OKLICNO(V) . LUG VRIKS AN JE VNICNO(V).
Literary Slovenian: MINIL JE DUH TI V SMRTI . ON JE V NJO KLECNIL. LOGU, VRISKU ON JE NIKNIL (POKAZAL HRBET)
English Translation: Your spirit ceased in death. He slumped into the earth. He turned his back on the grove and cry of joy.
Inscription on a stèle from Garrigues, near Nîmes, found in the 18th century, now at the Nîmes museum.
Transcription and Division: E SKIGGO
Pronounciational Guide: JE SKIHO(V)
REJ KS∂ KO
Literary Slovenian: JE SKIHAL (UMRL) KI SE RAJŠI KOT NADALJE OSTATI.
English Translation: He sneezed off (croaked) rather than any longer staying on.
It should be noted that the colloquial term “sneezed off,” or today’s equivalent of “croaked,” appears to have been fully acceptable for the euphemisms of “decease,” “expiring,” or “passing on,” which are in vogue today.
Inscription from Uzès (Gard), written on a capital, found in 1869, now at Nîmes museum.
Transcription and Division: CENIKIO C APRO
Pronounciational Guide: CENIKJO(V) S∂ APRO(V)
Literary Slovenian: OCENJEN SI OPRAVI EN SI
English Translation: You have been appraised (judged) you have been approved (you passed).
The three-dot triangular symbol appears to convey the concept of upward magnification. The notion of redemption in the English and Romance languages etymologically derives from deliverance coming from payment of ransom. In religious terms, this may be by payment of the ultimate human sacrifice by proxy. For the above inscription, redemption and deliverance come by way of magnification. It is no coincidence that the Slovenian word for redemption is “ZVELIČANJE,” meaning “magnification” and deriving from “VELIK” - “big, large.” An interesting parallel of the redemption-zveli anje motif appears in the seven Vs at the beginning of each of the words in Inscription VI which follows.
Inscription from La Malandrerie, bradawl-incised on a jeweled ring, found in December 1898.
Transcription and Division: VEDZ VIDI V VOGNA VIX V VIONI
Pronounciational Guide and Dialectal Slovenian:
VED∂Ž VIDI V VOGNA(H) VIŠ K V BIJONI
Literary Slovenian: VEDEŽ VIDI V OGNJU VEČ KOT V BIVANJU.
Loose Literary Slovenian Translation:
MODROST VIDI V SMRTI VEČ KOT V ŽIVLJENJU.
English Translation: A wise man sees more in fire than in existence.
Loose English Translation: A wise man sees more in death than in life.
The number of words is seven. Each starts with the letter V. 7 insinuates good fortune in the hereafter. The Vs repeat the motif of “redemption-zveličanje” with the specific etymology of “magnification” skyward encountered in Inscription V above. The latter half of letter X in “VIX” - “VIŠ” has the form of a K. Two replicas of such a K can be seen in the KORNELIA inscription above. Here, VIX is meant to be pronounced as VIŠ K∂ - “more than” to complete its comparative intent. The reason a separate letter K could not have been written was because this would upset the magic intended by the 7 Vs. Due to betatism, VIONI becomes BIJONI, i.e. the literary Slovenian BIVANJE - “existence.”
IEVRV · SOSI
Inscription found at Lezoux in 1891, written coarsely on the back and shoulders of a statue of Mercury, now at the museum of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
Transcription and Division: APRO NIO S
IEVRV . SOSI
E SO MARO
Pronounciational Guide: APROV NJO S∂ JEVRU . SOSI(N) JE SO MARO.
Literary Slovenian: OPRAVIČEN NJE SI V SMRTI . SOSIN JE Z
English Translation: Excused from life in death. (God) Sosin is with your cares.
IEVRV DVORI -
CO · V · S · L · M
Rough inscription from Marsac (Creuse), engraved on a granite block, found in 1864, now at the Guéret museum.
Transcription and Division: SACER PEROCO IEVRV DVORICO . V . S . L . M.
Pronounciational Guide: SACER PÉROCO IEVRV DVÓRICO . V . S . L . M.
Literary Slovenian: SVETI PETERČEK, KO UMRJEM, NEBESA.
English Translation: St. Peter, when I die, (let me into) heaven.
The Latin SACER - “holy, saint” and the V.S.L.M. initials representing the Latin formula VOTUM SOLVIT LIBENS MERITO point to a time when Slavenetic was being supplanted by the Romance langue d’oc. This is also echoed in the affectionate diminutive appellation of St. Peter in the vocative case of today’s Croatian usage. The inscriber learned this form as a child and seems not to have had subsequent opportunity to upgrade it to a more adult cast. DVORICO is in a diminutive form for the same reason, but also to make the invocation rhyme. DVORICO - “heaven” is fem., noun, sing., acc.; it is a variant of today’s literary Slovenian DVOREC - “castle, mansion.” The etymology originates from DVER - “gate, entrance.” A loose translation, therefore, could be: “St. Peter, when I die, let me through the heavenly gate.” Of interest also is the Slovenian toponym DVORICA.
Passage from Néris-les-Bains (Allier), inscribed on a rock, found in 1836, now at the Bourges museum.
Transcription and Division: BRAT RO NOS
N AN TO NICN
E PADA TE XTO
RIGI . LE VCVLIO
SVI OREBE . LOGI
Pronounciational Guide: BRAT (U)RO(U) NOS
N∂ AN TO NIC∂N
JE PADA(V) TEJ ŠTO
(SE) RI I . LE V∂CV∂LIO
SVI OREBE LOGI TOJE
Literary Slovenian: VZNAK V GROB POBRAN,
NAJ NOSI TO S SEBOJ:
JE PADEL TA, KI SE RE I.
LE VZCVETIJO S TRTAMI
NAJ LOGI TVOJI VSI!
English Translation: Facedown gathered into the grave,
Let him this with him convey:
He fell who laughs at death;
May all his meadows blossom
Into a vineyard path!
On account of the imagery in the inscription, a somewhat poetic rendering is called for.
Inscription on a menhir at Old Poitiers, first attested in the 18th century by a Benedictine monk. It appears as L-3 in La Langue Gauloise (Lambert 1995).
Transcription and Division: RAT IN BRIVA TLOM
FR ON TV . TARBE TI SO NOS
Having reference to BRAT in the previous passage (Inscription IX), which is also a funerary inscription, and the weathered state of the menhir on which the inscription was found, it is reasonable to conclude that a B preceded RAT, but had been eroded by the march of centuries. Viewing the entire inscription as a whole, we are compelled to conclude that a B preceded RAT.
Pronounciational Guide: (B)RAT IN VRIVAT TLOM
F.R. ON TV . TARPE TI SONOS
Literary Slovenian: POBRAN IN V TLA VRINJEN
F.R. JE TU. TRPLJENJE TI NOSI (S SEBOJ)
English Translation: F.R. is taken and buried (into the earth) here. Take the suffering with you into the grave!
Inscription from Genouilly, written on a stone slab, found in 1894, now at the Bourges museum.
Transcription and Division: RV ON TV
Pronounciational Guide: R∂V ON TU
Literary Slovenian: GROB JE TU.
English Translation: The grave is here.
Inscription from Bourges, engraved in spiraling points around the neck of a black earthen vase, in the style of 4th century AD, found in 1848, now at the museum of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
Transcription and Division: BVSCILLA SOSIO LEGA SI TI NA
Pronounciational Guide: PUŠILJA(V) SOSIO, LEGA(V) SI TI NA LIŠJE MAGALU.
Slovenian Literal Translation: POSLAN (DVOBOŽJU) SOSJU, LEGEV SI TI
NA LAŽJO GOMILO.
English Translation: Sent to the deity, you lie in an easier mound.
Loose English Translation: Sent onto God, you are laid to rest in a gentler earth.
Inscription from Collorgues (Gard), written on a fragment of a vase, found in 1869, now kept at the Nîmes museum.
Transcription and Division: MAT IA B
K ON NOY BP
Pronounciational Guide: MAT JA B∂
K∂ ON NJOJ VR(ATOJ)
Literary Slovenian Translation: MATI, JAZ BI
KO ON NJI VR(NIL)
English Translation: Mother, I would that he return to her.
The remaining seven inscriptions are also Slavenetic. In Text Inscription 52 (Dottin 1985), the word SOSIO appears six times. The difficulty with the passage arises from the fact that the inscription is in a state of disrepair and, as a result, substantial scholarly dispute exists as to what alphabetical value to place on a significant number of letters.
In a somewhat similar fashion, Text Inscription 28 (Dottin 1985), in its first line, contains remnants of an obliterated symbol. Even though a Slavenetic value can be ascribed to each of the remaining eight words, a hypothetical translation may not do justice to the passage.
Text Inscriptions 24, 31, and 25 (Dottin 1985) come to us in two-word fragments, namely BRATOYT (VRATOJ T∂) - “return to you” and KREITE (KREJ TE) - “beside you,” and PIT Y (RIT (JOJ)) - “buried her,” respectively. We have seen BRATOY in Text Inscriptions 1, 3, 19, 20, and 27 (Dottin 1985) to be able to vouch for BRATOYT as Slavenetic. KREITE cannot claim as certain a provenance, but does contain a ring of credibility by association, in veiw of the fact that the predominant number of above inscriptions deal with decease and burial.
Lastly, we have two inscriptions containing the word LUBI - “enjoy.” One of these is incomplete, the other has three words, i.e., LUBI CAUNONNAS SINCERA. With typical tongue-in-cheek flair for the humorous, this refers to a vintage concoction (which the passage advertises) that should be enjoyed sincerely without wax, after decanting. To support the assumption, I refer you to the translation of an inscription, No. XXXV in Adieu to Brittany (Ambrozic 1999) on a drinking cup from the Ruteni region, found in 1937 at Banassac. It states: “LUBI RUTENICA, ON OPIJA, TI JEDI ULAHNO, CELICNU.” I believe that a Slovenian translation is not necessary. An English rendering would be: “Enjoy Rutenic wine, since it intoxicates, eat a little so as not to be embarrassed.”
Found in the territory of ancient Gaul, lying south of the Loire River, each of the above inscriptions also attests to the Slavenetic etymology of the name of the tribe within whose domain each lay buried all these centuries. Inscriptions III, IX, XI, and XII hail from the territory of the Bituriges-Cubi; numbers IV, V, and XIII from that of the Volcae Arecomici; VIII and X from that of the Santones; I from the Saluvii; II from the Ruteni; and VII from the Cabales.
This etymological parallelism is furthermore reflected in each of the remaining Slavenetic inscriptions from the south of ancient Gaul. Each originates in the territory of a tribe whose name also bears a clearly Slavenetic etymology.
Since a more exhaustive treatment of the tribal names appears in my book Journey Back to the Garumna (Ambrozic 2000), a brief note on each might suffice.
The Ruteni are attested by artifacts from Arkona on the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea. The Volcae tribes are described as Volce in Peutinger’s Table. This is very close to the oldest form for wolves “volcje” in the Slovenian language. For the Arecomici, the instrumental-case REKOM portion of their name describes the location of their new homeland on the right bank of the Rhone. The Velavii are “the valued ones, the worthy ones,” the Secusiavi “the reaping sowers,” the Mandubii “the lesser oaks.” Without the betatism and akanje, the Cabales become Kovali - “metal workers, forge operators.” Betatism is again at work with the Petrogorii (Vetrogorji) - “windy mountains.” With the Bituriges, the betatismed VI - “at, in, Fr. chez” tells us that we are with people whose main occupation along the Loire River is TURG, TERG - “trade.” Indeed, their second appellation of CUBI (KUPI) - “buyers” confirms it. This second appellation served to distinguish the Biturgi-Kupi from their cousins, the Vivisci - “the hanging ones.” Forced to move from their marginal terrain by erosion, landslides, and earthquakes, the Vivisci settled on the shores of the Bay of Biscay. Agricultural pursuits appear to be the main preoccupation of the Cadurci (Sadurci) - “planters.” On the Medoc (Medak) Peninsula, production of honey and mead was the main preoccupation of the Meduli. Their neighbours, the Vasati - “villagers” - had a “white” counterpart tribe in the Bellovaci (Belovasci).
In the territory of each of these tribes, several hundred toponyms and hydronyms also attest to their Slavenetic provenance. Over 3000 of these place and river names are analyzed in Adieu to Brittany (Ambrozic 1999) and Journey Back to the Garumna (Ambrozic 2000) alone. But there are thousands more.
Combinational Word Compounding
Especially compelling in this regard is the Slavic propensity for combinational word-compounding. We have already seen this in tribal names such as Mandubii, Secusiavi, Vetrogorii, and Belovasci. From inscriptions, we see RIBOLEUYC (“fisherman”) from Dura-Europos, MOLATUS(T) (“saying one’s prayers”) from the Lezoux plate, RACELOY (“duck hunt”), and CELICNON (“unashamed”) from Text Inscriptions 2 and 33 (Dottin 1985).
Parallel to these are also the toponyms and hydronyms that follow. However, before we examine them, it should be noted that the letter T after a final S, which is still very much extant in the Slovenian of today, was invariably omitted in the Slavenetic of Gaul. Words like SIKNOS, ICKAVOS, OPPIANICNOS, and LICNOS in Text Inscriptions 20, 38, and 39 (Dottin 1985), still have a T follow the S in the Slovenian of today. Now, these words would be pronounced as SIKNOST, JIČKAVOST, OPIJANIČNOST, and LIKNOST, respectively. To reflect this phenomenon, a T in parentheses will be inserted after the relevant toponyms and hydronyms. Some examples are the following: BELLEYMAS(T) - (“white bridge”), TARTARAS(T) - (“vine growing”), MENJERAS(T) - (“growing less”), NABOULIERAS(T) - (“best growing”), TUGERAST - (“growing sadly”), BESSUNIÉRAS(T) - (“spring-grown”), NOVZERINES(T) - (“new bitter oak”), VALAMAS(T) - (“ox bridge”).
other word compounding examples are the following: MALIGORNAY - (“little mountain
place”), MALVRAN - (“little raven”), MALPÉRIE and MALLEPEYRE - (“little feathers”),
MALATRAY - (“short lasting”), MALIJAY - (“little egg place”), MALAGROY - (“little
conger”), RAJASSE (“paradise glade”), JASSENOVE - (“new clearing”), GLEYSENOVE
- (“new clay”), MIRANDOL - (“peaceful valley”), MÉRINDOL - (“measured valley”),
MIRALASSE - (“peaceful grassland”), SPAGNAGOL - (“sleepy hill”), TREGLAVUS -
(“three-headed”), TREGORNAN - (“three mountains”), PUTHOD - (“footpath”), VUIDEPOT
- (“escape path”), BOURBILLY - (“white fir”), SÉLÉMOYÉ - (“my village”), BRONANTRCAR
- (“bronzestriker”), KOZLOVEDIC - (“soothsayer”), VODEVREL - (“mineral spring”),
TALIVAUD - (“underground water”), GORREVOD - (“mountain water”), VERZOLET River
- (“rapids”), LENDREVIÉ - (“lazy woods”), VULVOZ - (“oxpath”), GANAVEIX River
- (“branch mover”), GROISSIAT - (“grape sown”), CUISSIAT - (“immediately sown”),
COUYRASSEAU - (“growing at once”), ROGISTAN - (“tent encampment”), SAMOGNAT
- (“self sprouting”), RADEGONDE - (“likely to sprout”).
The etymology of the 65 Slavenetic inscriptions from the south of ancient Gaul is mirrored in the toponymy and tribal names. This parallelism is continued in the names of places and tribes containing two-pronged word compounding. This is particularly compelling in that each of the tines has an individual, though complimentary, meaning of its own. However, what transcends even these in persuasiveness is the consistency of the grammatically parsed morphology in the inscriptions. Passage after passage attests to it.
A conclusion that the Slavenetic flourished in the south of ancient Gaul from as early as the 3rd century BC from east of the Rhone as far as the Atlantic, and included Armorica, becomes inescapable. Evident from later inscriptions is also the fact that the language survived for many centuries. Only the encroaching lilt of the langue d’oc in the east and the Occitan in the west extinguished it.
Ambrozic, Anthony. Adieu to Brittany. Toronto: Cythera Press, 1999.
Ambrozic, Anthony. Journey Back to the Garumna. Toronto: Cythera Press, 2000.
Dottin, Georges. La Langue Gauloise. Geneva: Slatkine Reprints, 1985.
Grossen Historischen Weltatlas (Vorgenschichte und Altertum, vol. 1). Munich: Bayerischer Schulbuch-Verlag, 1963.
Hemingway-Benton, Helen. The New Encyclopoedia Britannica. 1973-74 ed.
Lambert, Pierre-Yves. La Langue Gauloise. Paris: Editions Errance, 1995.
Appendix A - ABBREVIATIONS
a.k.a. also known as
aux. auxiliary verb
Chk. Chakavian Croatian
Csl. Church Slavonic
fut. future tense
gsl. generally Slavic
instr. instrumental case
Kjk. Kajkavian Croatian
Ll. Lower Lusatian
Ocsl. Old Church Slavonic
OESl. Old Early Slavic
p.p. past participle
Ul. Upper Lusatian
KORNELIA Latin woman’s name
RO noun, masc., sing., nom.; ROV - Sln. lit. - “ditch,” Ul., Ll. - “grave”
K BO Sln. dial. idiom for Sln. lit. KO BI - “let it be that, may it happen that”
LOICA noun, masc. sing., acc., object of BRATOY. LOJC (see Inscription 2, (Dottin 1985) for dial. Sln. LOVC for Sln. lit. LOVEC - “hunter”
BRATOY betatism for VRATOY - participle of SC. VRATITI - “to return.” Here it is governed by aux. BO (supra) - 3rd prs., sing., fut. of BITI - Sln. lit. - “to be”
D Sln. dial. D∂ for Sln. lit. Da - “so that, may it, let it”
E JE - Sln. lit. 3rd prs., sing., pres. of Sln. lit. BITI - “to be”
KANT Sln. dial. akn. of Sln. dial. KONC for Sln. lit. KONEC - gsl. - “end”
NII D Sln. dial. idiom for Sln. lit. NAJ DA - “let it be that, may it happen that.” (For NII, see Text Inscription 57 (Dottin 1985).
DAM Sln. dial. for Sln. lit. DOMA - “at home”
ON prn., masc., sing., nom., gsl. - “he”
DIILGU dial. ikanje form of Sln. lit. DOLGO - “for a long time”
LINOT v., 3rd prs., sing., pres., dial. ikanje form of Sln. lit. reflexive LENITI SE - “to laze about.” The Russified 3rd prs. form could also be an inf. called for by the volitional NII D, which governs it.
EL JEL - Sln. dial. pp. of Sln. lit. JENJATI - Sln., SC. - “to stop, to cease.” Compare dial. usage of IL (JIL) and EGO (JEGJO) in Text Inscriptions 7 and 37 (Dottin 1985).
VON noun, masc., sing., nom. of Sln. lit. VONJ and Ocsl. VON’A - “scent, aroma, breath, spirit”
TI prn., sing., dat., governed by EL; TI - gsl. - “you”
V prep. governing IEVRV; V - Sln., Cz., R. - “in, into”
IEVRV This frequent, stylized term, generally referring to burial and decease, became as conventional as our present-day usage of R.I.P. for “rest in peace” or “requiescat in pace.” For its parsing, see (Ambrozic 1999), Passage XXVI.
AN akn. form of ON - gsl. - “he”
E JE - “it is”; 3rd prs., sing., pres. of Sln. lit. - BITI - “to be”; here serving as aux. v. to OCLICNO
V See V supra.
NO Sln. dial. prn., fem., sing., instr., governed by the preceding V, of Sln. lit. NJO - “her.” The fem. form appears to refer to ZEMLJA - gsl. - “earth,” which is also of fem. gender.
OCLICNO Sln. dial. p.p. of Sln. lit. KLECNITI - “to collapse, to slump, to fall to one’s knees”; governed as aux. v. by the preceding E
LUG dial. Sln. of Sln. lit. LOG - gsl. - “grove, smallwood, meadow” - noun, masc., sing., acc., object of VNICNO
VRIX a metathesis of Sln. lit. VRISK - “shout of elation, cry of joy” - noun, masc., sing., acc.; together with LUG, object of VNICNO
AN See AN supra.
E See E supra; here aux. v. to VNICNO.
VNICNO dial. p.p. form of a v. formed from adv. VNIC - Sln., variant Ocsl., SC., Cz., and R. forms, meaning “facing downward, slumped forward”; also from Sln. lit. NIKNITI - “to bend forward, to disappear into earth”
E JE - “he is,” 3rd prs., sing., pres. of Sln. lit. BITI - “to be,” here serving as aux. v. to SKIGGO
SKIGGO Sln. dial. SKIHOV is a p.p. of Sln. lit. SKIHATI - “to finish sneezing, to sneeze off, i.e. to die.” The harshness of the H is here strived for by the use of a double G.
REIKSKO Sln. dial. idiom REJ KS∂ for Sln. lit. RAJŠI KI SE KOT - “rather than” - (Ξ - Courtesy of Prof. Dr. Anton Perdih)
NDILLE Sln. extremely dial. and archaic form for today’s Sln. lit. NADALJE - “further, longer, on (in reference to time)”
Venetic OTS form, encountered also in inscriptions at ESTE, being a metathesized
root of Sln. lit. OSTATI - “to stay behind, to remain.” See Text Inscriptions
4,7, 30, 13, 20, and 32 (Dottin 1985).
CENIKIO a participal form not in use either dialectally or literarily, but which is readily recognized as deriving from CENA - gsl. (except Lusatian) - “price.” A close parallel is the SC. inf. CJENJKATI SE - “to bargain, to haggle.”
C Sln. dial. S for Sln. lit. SI - 2nd prs., sing., pres. from BITI - “to be,” here as aux. v. to CENIKIO
APRO Sln. dial. akn. of O-PRAV, the prefix O - “of, on, at upon, in, about,” having a restrictive, limiting function on the word it governs. The meanings for dial. PROV and lit. PRAV range from “good, true” to “righteous” and “just.” Words like “PRAVDA” and PRAVICA” have the same etymology. Deriving from a Latin parallel in “PROBUS,” words like “probity, probation, probate” have a common Indo-European ancestry.
VEDZ VED∂Ž - archaic dial. Sln., noun, masc., sing., nom., subject of VIDI, from VEDETI - gsl. (variations) - “to know” - therefore, “he who knows,” by association, “wise man”
VIDI Sln. lit. v. form, 3rd prs., sing., pres. of VIDETI - with gsl. variants - “to see”
V Sln. lit. form - “in, at, into” - governing prep. of VOGNA
VOGNA a quaint Sln. dial. instr. form of VOG∂N - “fire,” OGENJ being today’s lit. form, VOGNU being the sing. dial. instr, case. It is possible that a plural “fires” was intended, and that the word was of fem. gender in which case VOGNAH would be the instr. form, the H being quasi-mute and therefore not written.
VIX VIŠ K∂ - Sln. dial. comparative of VISOK - “high, tall,” i.e. VIŠJI KOT - “higher than, more than.” The SC. comparative VIŠE is also apropos, however, it combines with NEGO rather than K∂ or KOT, as it does in Sln.
V See V supra; here a prep. to VIONI.
VIONI Sln. obsolete BIJONI, a betatism very close to BIVANJE - “existence,” which is a noun formed from the iterative BIVATI - “to live, to exist,” a form of BITI - “ to be.” BIONA is fem. instr., governed by the preceding V.
APRO See APRO supra in Inscription V. Here APRO is meant to portray one’s life as being on probation and the end of it as a probate to entry to death.
NIO NJO - prn., sing., fem., acc. of ONA - gsl. - “she,” object of APRO S. The fem. gender is used because NIO refers to implied VIONA - “existence, life” which is also fem.
S Sln. dial. S∂ for lit. SI - “you are” - 2nd prs., sing., pres. of BITI - “to be”
SOSI La Langue Gauloise (Dottin 1985) on p.164 states that “il y a peut-ętre une trace de N aprčs SOSI” (“there is perhaps a trace of an N after SOSI”). SOSIN is a Janus-like, two-headed god, reference to whom is found in Text Inscriptions 7 and 33 (Dottin 1985). SOSI(N) - noun, masc., nom., sing., subject of E
E JE - “is” - v. 3rd prs., sing., pres. of BITI - “to be”
SO a gsl. variant of S, Z, SA, et al. - “with, by, at”
MARO the noun MAR - “care, worry,” here appearing in fem., sing., instr. derives from Sln. and Old Kjk. MARATI and today’s Cr. MARITI - “to care, to worry about.” See Text Inscriptions 9 and 37 (Dottin 1985). Here it is governed by prep. SO.
BRAT An archaic dial. p.p. of Sln. lit. BRATI (with gsl. variants) - “to gather (in), to pick, to pluck”
RO See Ro in Inscription I supra. An instance of a half-mute U immediately preceding and following RO not being written.
NOS Sln. dial., imp., sing., pres. of Sln. lit. NOSITI (with gsl. variants) - “to carry, to take, to convey.” It is governed by N∂, which immediately follows it, the two words together meaning “let him take.”
N Sln. dial. N∂ for Sln. lit. NAJ - “let, may” in a volitional, imperative sense. Here it governs NOS.
AN akn. of ON - gsl. - “he”
TO prn., neuter, sing., acc., object of N Nos - with gsl. variants - “this”
NICN Sln. dial. NIC∂N, adj., masc., sing., nom., with gsl. variants - “face-down, bent forward.” See VNICNO, Inscription III supra for v. and adv. parallels.
E JE - “it is,” 3rd prs., sing., pres. of BITI - “to be,” serving as aux. v. to PADA, the two together meaning “he fell”
PADA The half-sounded U at the end of PADA is not written. As stated above, it might not have been sounded at all, reflecting Dalmatian or Likan usage of today. This is a transitive form of a dial. p.p. of the Sln. lit. PASTI - with gsl. variants - “to fall,” PADEL (pronounced PADEU) being the lit. p.p. form.
TE Sln. dial. TEJ for Sln. lit. TA - prn., masc., sing., nom., with gsl. variants - “this, this one, the one,” subject of E PADA and RIGI
XTO a Shtokavian and R. “which,” governing TE, here having the meaning of “who” rather than the present Shtokavian usage of “which” which refers exclusively to inanimate objects
RIGI RIZI - a Sln. 3rd prs., sing., pres., non-reflexive form of Sln. lit. reflexive REZATI SE - “to grin, to smirk, to laugh with mouth wide open.” The engraver here had to reproduce the Z sound, for which the Latin alphabet had no symbol. He compromised by using a G before vowel I to produce DZ, which was not exactly the sound he sought, but was close enough to get the meaning across.
LE LE - gsl. - “let it, if only, may it be that” is used as a volitional word, often with NAJ, the two together to mean “let it be that ..., let it happen that ..., if only it were that ...”
VCVLIO An archaic dial. 3rd prs., pl., pres. of Sln. lit. VZCVESTI - “to burst into blossom, to bloom”
SVI SC. lit., adj., masc., pl., nom. of such gsl. variants as VES, SAV - “all, every,” governing LOGI, object of VCVLIO
OREBE Sln. dial., v., 3rd prs., pl., pres. formed from the combination of Sln. dial. noun REBEC - “(grape)vine” and gsl. prefix O - “of, on, upon, in, at, all about”
LOGI Sln. lit., noun, masc., pl., nom., subject of VCVLIO. LOG, LUG - gsl. - “grove, smallwood, meadow”
TOE Sln. dial. TOJE of Sln. lit. TVOJE - “your, yours”; it appears in a form that could be either neuter or fem., governing LOGI which is masc. Oddly, one would expect the masc. TOJI form to correspond to LOGI. But how can we dictate the form into the past? We should be grateful that it is still so recognizable.
BRAT an archaic dial. p.p. of Sln. lit. BRATI (with gsl. variants) - “to gather (in), to pick, to take, to pluck.” See Inscription IX supra.
IN Sln. lit. “and.” See Text Inscription 33 (Dottin 1985) and Text Inscription on the Lezoux plate.
BRIVAT Archaic Sln. dial. p.p. of VRIVATI (Sln., Ocsl., SC.) - “to push into, thrust (or) force into”
TLOM an archaism in that in Sln. usage the plural TLA has long ago supplanted the singular TLO. Here, the instr. case predicates a prep., which is not written. See Text Inscription 35 (Dottin 1985) for TALO, BIRA, and BRIT, which are grammatical forms of dial. variants of TLOM, BRAT, and BRIVAT respectively, the theme of the decedent being “gathered (taken) and buried into the ground” being replicated.
FR Initials of the decedent being buried. Since neither the Slavenetic nor Slovenian contained the letter F in their origins, we are coerced to conclude that FR can only be the deceased’s initials. This is especially so in view of the fact that the prn. ON, which governs it, in typical Slavenetic fashion, follows it. See text passage on the Lezoux Plate, Inscription 46 (Dottin 1985) and Passage XLV (Ambrozic 1999.
ON See Inscription II supra.
TV Sln. lit. TU - “here” is reflected in other gsl. variants
TARBE noun, fem., pl., acc., object of SO NOS - an archaic Sln. dial. betatism of today’s Sln. lit. TRPLJENJA - “suffering”
TI prn., sing., nom., subject of SO NOS - TI - gsl. - “you”
SO NOS A very archaic dial. of Sln. lit. NOSI (S SEBOJ) - “take away with you.” Even though SO and NOS are written separately, SO (gsl. - “with”) operates as a prefix to NOS - imp., sing., pres. of Sln. lit. NOSITI - (with gsl. variants) “to carry, to take, to convey.” For NOS see Text Inscription 6 (Dottin 1985).
IEVRV See Inscription III supra and Passage XXVI (Ambrozic 1999).
RV dial. variant of ROV seen in Inscriptions I and IX supra - “grave”
ON Gsl. - “he, he is.” Typically, the prn. follows the word it governs, as seen in the Lezoux Plate, Text Inscription 46 (Dottin 1985), Passage XLV (Ambrozic 1999), and Inscription X supra.
TV Sln. lit. TU - “here” is reflected in other gsl. variants. See Inscription X supra.
BVSCILLA This word exemplifies the adaptability of the Slavenetic engravers. We encounter a variant SC. for the Š (sh) sound, which on other occasions is represented by an X. We see a LJ-sound value in the double L. The betatism in the first letter and the unwritten U-sound at the end of the first word are almost old hat by comparison. The dial. Sln. PUŠILJAV is the transitive, iterative verb form, where today’s literary usage of POSLAN, being the p.p. of POSLATI - “to send,” indicates a completed action. Nevertheless, the meaning is clear. The decedent has been sent to god SOSIN.
SOSIO Encountered as SOSIN in Text Passages 7, 33, and 42 (Dottin 1985), the word may have over time been transformed to a neuter-nouned SOSJE, the dat. of which in today’s lit. usage would be SOSJU. However, it is possible that a more general notion of “deity,” rather than the specific two-headed, Janus-like, SOSIN, was sought for the inscription. In either case, the meaning again is unambiguous, the decedent had been sent to God.
LEGA Again, as with PUŠILJAV, LEGAV is in the transitive, iterative, uncompleted-action form, and yet we know from “NA LIXIE MAGALU” that the decedent had already been laid to rest “in an easier mound.” Undoubtedly, the seventeen centuries that separate us from the inscription have claimed their due. Sln. dial. LEGAV for lit. LEGAL is p.p. of LEGATI, an iterative form of LEČI - “to lie.” It is today seldom found without prefix combinations, the Dalmatian and Likan vernacular of today also continues to insinuate itself.
SI TI TI - gsl. - “you”; SI - 2nd prs., sing., pres. of BITI - “to be,” serving as aux. v. to LEGA
NA Gsl. and both Sln. dial. and lit. - “on”
LIXIE An archaic dial. form of today’s Sln. lit. LAŽJE - “lighter, easier” - a comparative of LAHEK - gsl. - “easy, light.” Here in an instr. case, governed by prep. NA.
MAGALV An extreme akn. form of Sln. and SC. metathesised GOMILA; MOGILA - SC., Mac., Blg., R. and with minor variations - also Csl., Ukr., P., Cz., Slk., and Old Lusatian - “mound, grave, heap of earth.” It appears in a dial. instr. case, governed by prep. NA.
MAT Sln. dial. vocative - “mother”
IA SC. - “I.” See Text Inscription 6 (Dottin 1985), and the Vannes cemetary inscription appearing on p.147 (Lambert 1995).
B Sln. dial. B∂ for Sln. lit. BI - “would”
K Sln. dial. K∂ for Sln. lit. KO - “that, so that”
ON Gsl. - “he.” See ON in Inscriptions II, X, and XI, and akn. AN in Inscriptions III and IX supra.
NOY archaic Sln. and SC. lit. NJOJ - “her, to her.” See Text Inscription 32 (2) (Dottin 1985).
BP Since only a fragmented inscription survived, we can assume that the two letters are the beginning of BRATOY (VRATOJ), which appear in Text Inscriptions 1, 3, 19, 20, 24, and 27 (Dottin 1985).