see also: Venetic | Venetic:Phonology

Venetic is an inflecting language, the grammatical categories being determined by suffixes attached to the stems.

Nominal MorphologyEdit

This system includes nouns, adjectives, and pronouns and declines for case, number, and gender. The paradigms for any given combination of the above is very incomplete due to a lack of sources.

Nouns and adjectives are grouped according to the vowel that ends the root; there are a-stems, e-stems, i-stems, o-stems, u-stems, and consonant stems. The o-stems are comprise of two sections: those simply having a stem with -o, and those whose stem originally ended in -yo (see Venetic Phonology#Phonological Changes). The consonants stems have three parts: stop-stems (those ending in a plosive), r-stems, and n-stems.

Venetic o-, yo-, and a-stems
o-stems yo-stems a-stems
Nom. Sg. wo.l.tiiomno.s. .a.kut.s. whrema
Acc. Sg. .e.kwo.n. - re.i.tia.n.
Dat. Sg. wo.l.tiiomno.i. .a.kutiio.i. whu.k.s.siia.i.
Abl. Sg. leno wo.l.tio -
Gen. Sg. keutini - -
Nom. Pl. - - -
Acc. Pl. de.i.vos te.r.monio.s. -
Dat./Abl. Pl. andeticobos - -

Venetic r-, n-, and stop-stems
r-stems n-stems stop-stems
Nom. Sg. lementor molo wa.n.t.s.
Acc. Sg. - - -
Dat. Sg. lemetore.i. pupone.i. va.n.te.i.
Abl. Sg. - - -
Gen. Sg. - - -
Nom. Pl. .a.nsores - -
Acc. Pl. - - -
Dat./Abl. Pl. - - -

Some of these forms are uncertain; the genitive o-stem singular is particularly the topic of debate.


Only three pronouns are attested in Venetic. We know of the first person nominative, ego, and the accusative singular, mego. In addition, the pronomial adjective sselboisselboi, "himself," is attested. This form is peculiar on account of its doubled consonants and reduplication; it has similarities to the Gothic word silba and Old High German selbselbo.

Verbal MorphologyEdit

Knowledge of the Venetic verbal system is scarce and inadequate, but some details are known for sure. A past form seems to be produced by adding a s to the stem (from the PIE aorist tense, cf. Attic Greek). For instance: is parced into the root dona-, the past marker -s-, and the secondary 3rd person singular ending -to; thus, the word means "he gave." Likewise, donasan means "they gave." Another example is, meaning "he offered."

There are also forms such as tole.r. and tola.r. with the endings -e/a-r; the tense of this class is unknown. The context, votive offerings, suggests that the tense is past. On the other hand, the PIE mediopassive ending -r is not usually found in the past tense.

The known verb forms only reveal what seems to be the third person past and present: atisteit ("he sets up") with the -t ending seems to be a primary third person singular. The ending -to of seems to be a secondary third person singular; donasan is plural. The primary:secondary contrast seems to be one of present:past, respectively.

Nonfinite verbs are understood even less than the finites. There is some evidence of participles with the suffix -nt- in horvionte (meaning unknown) and who.u.go.n.ta.i. (dat. sing. fem. "fleeing" (?)).

Name ConstructionsEdit

In many more widely attested languages, it would be unnecessary to have a section on names; however, a good part of those few Venetic texts is composed of names, and therefore they deserve some attention. Certain names were clearly derived from substantive verbs: who.u.go.n.t- seems to have originated from the participle of who.u.go-, translating perhaps as the fleeing one (?). Tomatoriio.i. is from doma- (tame) with the suffix -tor, meaning "tamer," or the like. Female names are derived from male names by the replacement of the final -o with an -a.

Names can also be compounded, such as in the case of suro.s. resu.n.ko.s. and va.n.t.s. The extra components of the names, especially those ending in -io/-ia, -ko/-ka, or -kno, may have a patronymic value. That is, the second name would translate as "son of..." and the third as "grandson of..." For example: ka.n.te.s. vo.t.te.i.iio.s. a.kut.s. might mean "Kantes, son of Vottos, grandson of Akutos." However, this, like many other features of Venetic, is uncertain. Female relations are expressed by the suffix -na. The second name term conveys gamonymics. For instance, ne.r.ka means "Nerka, wife of Lementor." The third name probably shows patroymics, as in whugiia.i. a.n.detina.i. whuginiia.i., "Fugia, wife of Andetos, daughter of Fugs."


Case usage is like that of PIE. Nominative marks the subject, accusative marks the object, genitive shows possession (cases of the partitive, objective, or subjective uses are not attested), dative marks the indirect object, and ablative conveys the agent or means. The objects in prepositional phrases are marked with either the accusative or ablative, depending on the preposition involved.

Word order is fairly free, with SVO, OVS, and OSV occurring variably. OVS in the most common, followed by OSV. Adjectives generally precede their noun with the exception of names, whereby the modifiers follow the central name.

Verb and subject must agree in number, person, and gender, as must adjectives with their nouns. For instance, in te.r.monio.s. de.i.vo.s. (gods of the boundary), both terms are accusative plural.

No subordination or dependent clauses are attested in Venetic, although there are cases of coordination with the use of kwe or ke. The former is probably a suffix or enclitic particle.

Examples Edit

  • whu.g.siia vo.l.tiio.n.mnin.a re.i.tiia.i. mego
    • "Fusgia" (nom. sg. fem.) ; "Voltionmnina" (nom. sg. fem.) ; "donasto" (past 3rd sg.) = "gave" ; "Reitia" (dat. sg. fem.) ; "mego" (acc. sg.) = "me"
      • "Fusgia, wife of Voltionmnina, gave me to Reitia"
  • mego donasto śainatei reitiiai porai egeotora aimoi ke louderobos
    • "mega" (acc. sg.) = "me" ; "donasto" (past 3rd sg.) = "gave" ; "śainatei" (dat. sg.) = "to the healer" ; "reitiiai" (dat. sg.) = "to Reitia" ; "porai" (dat. sg.) = "to the good" ; "Egeotora" (nom. sg.) ; "Aimoi" (dat. sg.) = "for Aimos" ; "ke" (conjunction) = "and" ; "louderobos" (dat. pl.) = "for the children"
      • "Egeotora gave me to good Reitia, the healer, on behalf of Aimos and the children."

Sources Edit

External Links Edit

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