"I had another thought I should share. It might clarify things about *e-less locatives when a postclitic is applied.The Liber Linteus Zagrabiensis (the so-called "Mummy Text") postdates the 3rd millenium BCE and is agreed upon to have been written in a form of Late Etruscan. So such reduction of expected Old Etruscan locatives marked in -e with postclitic attached seems sound. The normal form of the locative with inessive postclitic is exemplified by spure-θi 'in the city' in TLE 171 (nb. spure alone means 'at/before the city'). In TLE 174, we find yet another locative seemingly lacking the characteristic suffix before a postclitic, Tarχnalθi 'in Tarquinia'. But yet again, perhaps this is just another example of the emerging Late Etruscan declension lacking overt locative marking in inessive forms? Food for thought.
In the context of the Liber Linteus where the word luθti is found, we also find another curious inessive locative haθrθi. Since its simple locative haθe ~ hanθe is found elsewhere in the same document, the only explanation I have for the unexpected -r- in haθrθi is that it is from earlier *e which has been sandwiched between the two thetas and subsequently shortened to a schwa. It may also have been further retroflexed due to alveolar stops.
So then, if *hanθe-θi has become haθrθi in the late dialect of the mummy text, surely *luθe-θi can be reduced in time to *luθrθi and even luθti under the power of a strong stress accent."
25 Jun 2009
I may as well put my latest response to a comment in a new blog entry rather than hiding it in the commentbox of What are Etruscans doing with those eggs?: