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Phrygian language

From Academic Kids

The Phrygian language was the Indo-European language of the Phrygians, people that migrated from Thrace to Asia Minor around 1200 BC.

Phrygian is attested by two corpora, one from around 800 BC and later (Paleo-Phrygian), and then after a period of several centuries from around the beginning of the Common Era (Neo-Phrygian). The Palaeo-Phrygian corpus is further divided (geographically) into inscriptions of Midas-city (M, W), Gordion, Central (C), Bithynia (B), Pteria (P), Tyana (T), Daskyleion (Dask), Bayindir (Bay), and "various" (Dd, documents divers). The Mysian inscriptions seem to be in a separate dialect (in an alphabet with an additional letter, "Mysian s").

By the 6th century AD it was extinct, but we can reconstruct some words with the help of some inscriptions written with a script similar to the Greek.

It is believed that it was close to Thracian and maybe Armenian, but probably closest to Greek, a language with which it was for some time in contact.

Its structure, what can be recovered from it, was typically Indo-European, with nouns declined for case (at least 4), gender (3) and number (singular and plural), while the verbs are conjugated for tense, voice, mood, person and number. No single word is attested in all its inflectional forms.

One famous Phrygian word is bekos, meaning "bread". According to Herodotus (Histories 2.9) Pharaoh Psammetichus II wanted to establish the original language. For this purpose, he ordered two children to be reared by a shepherd, forbidding him to let them hear a single word, and charging him to report the children's first utterance. After two years, the shepherd reported that on entering their chamber, the children came up to him, extending their hands, calling bekos. Upon enquiry, the pharaoh discovered that this was the Phrygian word for "wheat bread", after which the Egyptians conceded that the Phrygian nation was older than theirs. The word bekos is also attested several times in Palaeo-Phrygian inscriptions on funerary stelae. It was suggested that it is cognate to English bake.

See also

External links

de:Phrygische Sprache es:idioma frigio

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