Sunday, January 10, 2010

C for /g/

On pg. 27 I note that the Romans at first used the sign C in double duty to represent both /k/ and /g/. I failed to mention any actually attested epigraphical examples of this practice aside from the survival of the old way in the praenominal abbreviations C. and Cn. (p. 28). Here are a few cases: RECEI, i.e. rēgī 'king' dat. sg. (ILLRP 3), VIRCO, i.e. virgō 'maiden' (ILLRP 2) and CRATIA i.e. grātiā (ILLRP 101, Praeneste). Interestingly, this last inscription from the 3rd century BCE also uses a backwards C in the form PRIMOƆENIA, i.e. prīmogenia, probably to indicated a palatalized variant of the voiced velar. For a longer list of epigraphical C for /g/ see Leumann 1977:10.

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