Carian and Sidetic; Sabellic

Larry Trask larryt at
Wed Apr 11 08:00:06 UTC 2001

--On Thursday, April 5, 2001 7:32 pm -0400 Rich Alderson
<alderson+mail at> wrote:

> The editors of the LINGUIST List are working on adding Ethnologue-style
> classi- fications of various extinct languages to their database of
> languages.  They classify Carian as "Unknown, possibly IE" and Sidetic as
> "Unknown".

> Have Shevoroshkin's decipherments of these two languages as Anatolian IE
> been rejected by the profession?  Or should these classifications be
> updated to read "IE, Anatolian"?

According to all the reliable sources I have ever seen, Carian is so
sparsely recorded that no certain conclusions can be drawn about its
affiliations at all.  It is widely suspected of being IE, but no one is
sure about this.  A further assignment to Anatolian is highly speculative,
and based on nothing more than its geographical position and the evidence
of a few names.  As for Sidetic, this is even more sparsely recorded, and
nobody is eager to draw any conclusions at all.  So, yes; I don't think
Shevoroshkin's proposals command any great assent.

> On another note:  Recently I ran across the term Sabellic as a cover for
> what I was taught to think of as Umbrian.  The LINGUIST classification
> uses only the term Umbrian.  Which is term more current?  Is Sabellic
> even used by anyone other than the single author in whose work I
> encountered it?

The label 'Sabellian' (always in this form, in my experience) is a synonym
for 'Osco-Umbrian', and it denotes this particular branch of Italic --
though a few linguists use it more narrowly, to label a subgroup of

Larry Trask
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

larryt at

Tel: (01273)-678693 (from UK); +44-1273-678693 (from abroad)
Fax: (01273)-671320 (from UK); +44-1273-671320 (from abroad)

More information about the Indo-european mailing list