The Carian language is the language of the Carians , an ancient people who inhabited the coast of Anatolia . Belongs to the extinct Anatolian branch of the Indo-European languages . Inside this group was supposedly closer to Lycian than Lydian .
|Extinct||beginning of AD|
|Category||Languages of Eurasia|
- 1 Sources
- 2 Decoding
- 3 Description
- 3.1 Words
- 3.2 Athenian bilingual
- 4 History of the language
- 5 notes
- 6 References
- 7 Literature
Carian is known from the following sources:
- Personal names with the suffixes -ασσις, -ωλλος and -ωμος.
- 20-30 inscriptions, including bilingual, found directly in Caria .
- Inscriptions found on the territory of the Karya region of Memphis in Egypt, as well as in other places in Egypt and in Sudan .
- Inscriptions scattered throughout the Aegean world - including in Athens .
- Words cited by ancient authors as Carian.
Until the second half of the 20th century, this language remained a complete mystery, despite the fact that many of the signs of its writing resembled Greek in form. Using the Greek meanings of the letters, scholars of the 19th and 20th centuries were unable to advance in decoding, and eventually classified the language as non-Indo-European. A number of hypotheses have been put forward regarding the origin of the language, but none of them has been substantiated. The Carian script was deciphered only after the presumption of the Greek meaning of the Carian letters was discarded.
The Karyan alphabet was originally supposed to consist of more than 45 letters, which is why many researchers assumed that the letter was partially or fully syllable. A. Seis was the first to decrypt; later, several dozens of other “decrypts” were proposed.
In 1960, a Soviet researcher Vitaly Shevoroshkin showed that early assumptions about the syllabic or semi-syllabic nature of writing were erroneous, and established that a number of signs were variants of the tracing of the same signs. Another Russian researcher, Yuri Otkupshchikov, in 1988 proposed a different interpretation linking the Karyan language with the Paleobalkan languages.
Writing was finally decrypted in the 1970s by Thomas W. Kowalski  , whose publication went unnoticed, and independently, the Egyptologist John Ray . Ray, unlike his predecessors, studied the Carian-Egyptian bilingual inscriptions, which were previously ignored. His hypothesis, which was based on completely different meanings of the letters of the Carian alphabet, was met with great skepticism. However, after some clarifications made in the early 1990s by Ignacio-Javier Adiego and Dieter Schurr, his reading was accepted by the scientific community. The opening of a new bilingual in 1996 confirmed the validity of the interpretation of Ray-Kowalski.
Currently, the sound value of 27 letters out of 45 is considered to be precisely set. Some of them:
|Sign||Karyan sound||Greek sound|
smooth consonant, l / r
Two features made it possible to identify the Karyan language as Anatolian :
- Asigmatic nominative (without the Indo-European ending of the nominative case * -s ), but -s as the end of the genitive case: úśoλ, úśoλ-s
- The similarity of the basic words with other Anatolian languages : ted "father"; en "mother"
|Σῆμα τόδε: Τυρί|
Καρὸς τὸ Σκύλ [ακος
|This is the grave of Tour|
The Carian son of Skilak
The first line is repeated in Karian: Śías: san Tur [
San is the equivalent of τόδε and proves the presence of the inherent Anatolian assibilation parallel to the Luvian za- , “this”. If śías is not the same as soua , they should have approximately the same meaning.
The Achaean Greeks , who arrived at the end of the Bronze Age on the shores of Anatolia , found there a population that did not speak Greek and was involved in political relations with the Hittite empire . After the fall of the latter, the region became the target of immigration of the Ionian and Dorian Greeks, who expanded and strengthened the Greek settlements existing there.
Greek writers noted that the people among whom they settled were called Carians and spoke “barbaric” or “sounding barbaric”. However, it is not clear what the Greeks specifically meant by this.
The names of the Karyan cities ( Andanus, Myndus, Bybassia, Larymna, Chysaoris, Alabanda, Plarasa and Iassus ) were not clear to the Greeks, so some authors tried to find an etymology in words that they thought were Karyan. For the most part, these words are unencrypted, and without additional evidence, ancient Greek information cannot be recognized as reliable. In particular, the first Carian inscriptions (including bilingual ones) began to appear only in the 7th century BC. e. - several hundred years after the period of foundation of cities. The language of the Karians could have changed a lot by this time.
Carian is closely related to Lycian . Previously, both languages were considered as probable descendants of the Luvian language , which was distributed in the late Bronze Age , mainly in eastern Anatolia. The range of the Luvian language extended both westward, reaching the environs of Smyrna and Miletus , down the valleys of Meander and the Kister River (Cestr), and (to a lesser extent) to the south - to Caria and Lycia . Currently, Lycian and Carian are regarded as belonging to the same branch of the Anatolian languages as the Luvian, but not necessarily its direct descendants.
The disappearance of the Luvian language in time coincides with the appearance of daughter languages. Luvian probably died away as a result of evolution, not Hellenization . Estimated Carian names of cities may be closer to Luvian or come from the language of Lelegs .
The attribution of the Karyan language to the same branch of the Anatolian languages as the Luvian one ruled out a number of previous hypotheses, in particular, about its possible connection with the Etruscan language . The appearance of the Karyan inscriptions in many parts of the ancient world is explained by the travels of the Karyans (they were probably the companions of the Ionians ), as well as their use as mercenaries (in particular, the Egyptian pharaohs ). The Carian cemetery in Delos probably belongs to the pirates mentioned in the classical texts.
The penetration of an increasing number of Greeks and the periodic falling of Caria into the sphere of influence of the Ionian League ultimately led to the Hellenization of the Carians. The temporary stay under the rule of the Persian Empire , apparently, only postponed the extinction process - the ruling nobility already in the IV century. BC e. switched to Greek , which essentially became the language of tribal communication in the coastal states of Asia Minor . The Carian language finally disappeared in the first century BC. e. or at the beginning of a new era - first in the coastal areas, and then in the depths of Caria .
- THOMAS W. KOWALSKI (1975), LETTRES CARIENNES: ESSAI DE DECHIFFREMENT DE L'ECRITURE CARIENNE Kadmos. Volume 14, Issue 1, Pages 73–93, DOI 10.1515 / kadm.19184.108.40.206.73
- Adiego, Ignacio-Javier, The Carian Language (Leiden: Brill, 2006).
- Adiego, Ignacio-Javier, Studia Carica . Barcelona 1993
- Melchert, H. Craig. 2004. Carian in Roger D. Woodard, ed. , The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 609-613.
- Blümel, W., Frei, P., et al. , ed. , Colloquium Caricum = Kadmos 38 (1998)
- Giannnotta, ME, Gusmani, R., et al. , ed. , La decifrazione del Cario . Rome 1994
- Pope, M. The Story of Decipherment. Revised edition. Thames and Hudson, 1999. pp. 192-195.
- Ray, John D., An outline of Carian grammar , Kadmos 29 : 54-73 (1990).
- Ray, John D., An approach to the Carian script , Kadmos 20 : 150-162 (1981)
- Friedrich Johannes. Deciphering forgotten scripts and languages - in Liberia "New Herodotus"
- Otkupschikov, Yu. V. “Pre-Greek substrate. At the origins of European civilization ”[Otkupschikov, Yu. V. "Pre-Greek substrate. At the beginnings of the European civilization "]. Leningrad, 263 pp. (1988).