The Info List - Thraco-Illyrian

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Thraco-Illyrian is a hypothesis that the Thraco-Dacian and Illyrian languages comprise a distinct branch of Indo-European. Thraco-Illyrian is also used as a term merely implying a Thracian-Illyrian interference, mixture or sprachbund, or as a shorthand way of saying that it is not determined whether a subject is to be considered as pertaining to Thracian or Illyrian. Downgraded to a geo-linguistic concept, these languages are referred to as Paleo-Balkan. The linguistical hypothesis was especially current in the early 20th century, but after the 1960s it was seriously called into question. New publications argued that no strong evidence for Thraco-Illyrian exists, and that the two language-areas show more differences than correspondences (Vladimir Georgiev, Ivan Duridanov, Eric Hamp, et al.).


1 Linguistic contact or common branch? 2 See also 3 Notes 4 References 5 Bibliography

Linguistic contact or common branch?[edit] The Vardar, South Morava
South Morava
and Great Morava
Great Morava
rivers are generally considered to approximate the border between the Illyrian and Thracian spheres, in the west and east respectively.[1] However, Thracian and Illyrian did not have a clear-cut frontier.[2] There was also, clearly, significant interaction between the Illyrian and Thracian spheres, with some Thracian groups occuping the Illyrian sphere and vice versa; the identity of some groups as Illyrian or Thracian has also remained unclear,[3] or, in some instances, a Thraco-Illyrian mix.[4] These factors reinforce the impression that many similarities between the Illyrian and Thracian lexes resulted from language contact [5] Others scholars argue that there were major similarities between Illyrian and Thracian, meaning that a shared, ancestral linguistic branch is probable (rather than a Sprachbund).[2] Among the Thraco-Illyrian corresponddences noted by I. I. Russu are the following:

Illyrian Daco-Thracian Remarks

Abroi Abre- Abre- is an element taken from certain Thracian anthroponyms

Aploi, Aplus, Apulia Apuli, Appulus, Apulum

Bilia, Bilios Bila

Dardi, Dardani Dardanos, Darda-para

Saprinus Sapri-sara

Separi Sapaioi

Sita Sita, Seita

Tribulium Triballi, Tribanta

Zorada Zar-, Zur-

Not many Thraco-Illyrian correspondences are definite, and a number may be incorrect, even from the list above. Sorin Paliga (2002) however states: "According to the available data, we may surmise that Thracian and Illyrian were mutually understandable, e.g. like Czech and Slovak, in one extreme, or like Spanish and Portuguese, at the other." Other linguists however argue that Illyrian and Thracian were different Indo-European branches which later converged through contact. It is also of significance that Illyrian languages
Illyrian languages
still have not been classified whether they were centum or satem language, while it is undisputed that Thracian was a satem language by the Classical Period (the satem nature of proto-Thracian is disputed, Olteanu 2002). Due to the fragmentary attestation of both Illyrian and Thraco-Dacian, the existence of a Thraco-Illyrian branch remains controversial. Evidence of a Thraco-Illyrian branch has also been sought in the Albanian language, which might have developed from either a Thraco-Dacian or Illyrian language, or possibly even a Thraco-Illyrian creole. See also[edit]

Albanian language Balkan sprachbund Classification of Thracian Dacian language Paleo-Balkan languages Romanian words of possible Dacian origin (and comparison with Albanian words) Thracian language Venetic language


^ The place of Paeonian remains unclear.[6] Not much has been determined in the study of Paeonian, and some linguists do not recognize a Paeonian area separate from Illyrian or Thracian. The place of Ancient Macedonian is also undetermined. Paliga (2002) states: "It is therefore difficult to say whether the ancient Macedonians spoke an idiom closer to Thracian, Illyrian, Greek or a specific idiom."


^ Balkans ^ a b Russu 1969. ^ Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992,ISBN 0-631-19807-5., p. 85, "Whether the Dardanians were an Illyrian or a Thracian people has been much debated..." ^ Wilkes et al., 1992. ^ Hemp, Georgiev 'et al. ^ Paeonia


Georgiev, Vladimir. Paliga, Sorin. Pre-Slavic place-names. 2002. Wilkes, John. The Illyrians. Blackwell Publishing, 1992. Russu, Ion I. (1969). Limba traco-dacilor (in Romanian). Bucharest: Editura