7 Oct 2011

See here!

After parsing into sentences and adding punctuation, TLE 170, the inscription devoted to Arnth Alethnas who is described as a 43-year-old leaving behind two sons, reads in Etruscan as follows:
Arnθ Aleθnas, Ar. clan, ril XXXXIII.
Ei-tva tamera śarvenas.
Clenar zal arce acnanasa.

Zilc marunuχva tenθas eθl matu manime-ri.
In the inscription, eitva is written without spaces however we've seen tva elswhere in the inscription that starts Eca sren tva (TLE 399) already translated by the Bonfantes as "This image shows [...]". Ei is abundantly attested too and means "here".

I notice that ei-tva is strangely similar to a French expression I'm familiar with: voici. Voici is composed of vois "(you) see; see!" and ci "here". According to my grammatical model of Etruscan, tva is the present-future form of *tau "to see". The sentence may be translated as "Here (ei) [we] see (tva) an urn (tamera) for cremation (śarvenas)." I find it difficult to be sure of the last word of the sentence since it's attested only once in Etruscan, although Lemnian śerunai, declined in the locative case on the Lemnos Stele, is a tempting match.


  1. In Czech, there are compounds tamhle "here", tenhle "this" where -hle stems from hledati "see" as an imperative.

    This is a better example, because it is in preposition.

  2. Have you seen the article about the Lemnos stele Heiner Eichner published in the "Journal of Language Relationship"? I don't know if you read German - if you have questions, I'm ready to help.

  3. Hans, the article may look professional but asserting that he has discovered "a new Lemnian numeral aiz = Etruscan ez" is a real turn-off. There is no numeral *ez in Etruscan and nobody but he suggests such a thing.

    1. Well, yes, he says that ez "has been overlooked until now". He finds it in an inscription "AV 4.1 = ET II 126 ... avils LXXX ez" (p. 26, Footnote 75), which he interprets as "80 + ez" years. As you can see, he leaves the question of what value "ez" has open. I'd sure agree that it would be odd for Etruscan to gain a new cardinal numeral, as we already have a full set, but would it be possible that it is an indefinite numeral, meaning something like "a few, some, many, all" or a qualifier like "almost, fully, over"?

    2. But this is silly. The Magliano Disc writes out 'eighty' in numerals while ez is immediately after it in regular letters. To claim that ez is a numeral in light of this simple fact is precisely to claim the LEAST possible solution, in which case I wonder why Eichner is wasting the reader's time.

      We might surmise that ez is an unmarked verb functioning as an infinitive for the rest of the phrase preceding it.

  4. Hmmm... so you're not dead. Is there a better way to contact you so that my pestering of you doesn't have to be seen by everyone who reads this blog?

  5. Of course there is, Nate. My email address is in any of my pdfs. It's not hard to find me.

  6. Perhaps I should specify to use the gmail account as per this pdf.