Universiteit Leiden

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Latino-Punic and its Linguistic Environment

This thesis attempts to describe the entire corpus of Latino-Punic inscriptions, found in Tripolitania.

Robert Kerr
21 February 2007
Newsletter report

Latino-Punic inscriptions, dating to the first four centuries AD, attestet to the survival of Punic in a Latin environment. The work is divided into an introduction, a grammatical description and a text-edition. In this work we attempt to demonstrate that once spelling is distinguished from phonology, these texts render good Semitic. Latin influence is limited to some spelling conventions and a few technical loans. Libyco-Berber grammatical influence, often supposed in the past, seems to be lacking enitrely. The only trace of Libyan seems to be in the onomasticon and possibly in the phonlogy, reflected in the pronunciation of certain phonemes in both Punic and Latin, i.e the 'African accent.' The major conclusion is that these texts cannot be used to posit the demise of Punic in Roman North Africa (nor is there any evidence for such at all), but rather to the vitality of Punic in this era (i.e. adopting the Latin alphabet and imitating Roman epigraphical genres).

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