Property:script

From Lexicon Leponticum
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Description: Defines the writing system of the inscription.
Type: String
Allows value: Greek script, Etruscan script, Latin script, North Italic script, Camunic script, none, unknown

Definition

In LexLep, writing systems are distinguished on two levels: "scripts" and "alphabets". This distinction and terminology are not grammatologically sound, but introduced here merely for convenience. The scripts are fairly straightforwardly discriminable and widely recognised variants of the alphabet: the Greek script as used in mainland Greece and its Mediterranean colonies, the Etruscan script as used by the Etruscan-speaking population of Italy, the Latin script as it emerged in Latium and later spread over all of Italy, the North Italic script as used by various peoples in Northern Italy, and the graphically peculiar Camunic script associated with the ancient Camunni. Of these scripts, only the North Italic one is further subclassified by the Property:alphabet. The North Italic script appears in a number of variants, which can to some extent be described, distinguished and even derived from each other, but are still so similar that the absence of certain schibboleth characters precludes the ascription of any single document of writing to a specific variant. The "script"-level in LexLep allows us to ascribe inscriptions to the North Italic script or one of the other scripts, while the optional ascription to a North Italic alphabet is made only where this is possible. The value of the Property:alphabet is given in brackets after the value of the Property:script.

The list below explains the grounds upon which inscriptions are ascribed to a script, including the schibboleth characters and additional factors (geographical, linguistical, chronological/archaeological) specially pertaining to the appraisal of the Cisalpine Celtic corpus. For further information see North Italic Script.

Greek script

Greek writing or its influence may be expected to be found in the catchment area of the early Greek settlements of Adria and Spina in the Po delta, or in the very west of Northern Italy through influx from the area of Marseille, where the Greek script was used to write Transalpine Gaulish. The main identifying epigraphical feature is the presence of one or more characters for mediae. For a collection of Gallo-Greek letter forms see RIG Property "Source" has a restricted application area and cannot be used as annotation property by a user. (vol. I): 428 ff.

Etruscan script

Considering that, essentially, all of North Italic writing may be argued to be the Etruscan script applied to other languages, the identification of linguistically Etruscan elements in a document must remain a major reason for also defining its script as Etruscan. Epigraphically, the identifying features are prevalently negative, i.e., the absence of any specifically North Italic characteristics.

Latin script

Compellingly Latin epigraphical features are the presence of undubitably Latin letter forms, i.e. the characters for mediae in their Latin forms, rho with a downstroke, and mu with two hastae (if not san). Indicatory features are a full-size angle in nu, presence of Latin C and Q, and a general ductus with straight bars rather than inclined ones, e.g. in epsilon and alpha, and curves rather than angles, e.g., in sigma. The above applies to monumental Latin; the Latin cursive has particular characteristics which appear in Latinoid Venetic inscriptions and must be looked out for as well. Note that Latinised North Italic script is classified as North Italic, not Latin.

North Italic script

No shared features can be said to distinguish the North Italic alphabets as a group from the scripts of Old Italy. See Property:alphabet.

Camunic script

Generally weird. Quite unmistakable, really.

Unknown and none

Unknown is chosen when an inscription cannot at all be ascribed to a certain script, though usually some commitment is made and qualified with a question mark in brackets. Unknown is also chosen – and this is the prevalent case – when it is not sure that the characters represent script in the linguistical sense at all, but are thought to transport some kind of meaning or information. None indicates that the marks in question are, with a high degree of probability, ornamental or unintentional.

Map

Distribution of inscriptions per script:

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Marker 210.png Greek script (0);Marker 300.png Etruscan script (2); Marker 360.png Latin script (19);Marker 030.png North Italic script (198); Marker 270.png Camunic script (0); Marker 090.png none (2); Marker 000.png unknown (132)

Statistics

Number of pages in the Category:Inscription (363) per "script":

script occurrence  
Greek script
0 0.00 % show list
Etruscan script
2 0.55 % show list
Latin script
19 5.23 % show list
North Italic script
207 57.02 % show list
Camunic script
0 0.00 % show list
none
2 0.55 % show list
unknown
133 36.63 % show list


Number of pages in the Category:File (306) per "script":

script occurrence  
Greek script
8 2.61 % show list
Etruscan script
60 19.60 % show list
Latin script
51 16.66 % show list
North Italic script
232 75.81 % show list
Camunic script
53 17.32 % show list
none
0 0.00 % show list
unknown
1 0.32 % addΘ1.png
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{ "type": "PROPERTY_CONSTRAINT_SCHEMA", "constraints": { "type_constraint": "_txt", "allowed_values": [ "Greek script", "Etruscan script", "Latin script", "North Italic script", "Camunic script", "none", "unknown" ] } }