Osco-Umbrian languages

Osco-Umbrian languages

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The Osco-Umbrian languages or Sabellic languages are a group of languages that belong to the Italic language family
Italic languages
The Italic subfamily is a member of the Indo-European language family. It includes the Romance languages derived from Latin , and a number of extinct languages of the Italian Peninsula, including Umbrian, Oscan, Faliscan, and Latin.In the past various definitions of "Italic" have prevailed...

 of the Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

. They were spoken in central and southern Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 before Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 replaced them as the power of the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 expanded. Quantities of text in Osco-Umbrian have survived.

The following languages belong to this group: the Umbrian group
Umbrian language
Umbrian is an extinct Italic language formerly spoken by the Umbri in the ancient Italian region of Umbria. Within the Italic languages it is closely related to the Oscan group and is therefore associated with it in the group of Osco-Umbrian languages...

; and the Oscan language
Oscan language
Oscan is a term used to describe both an extinct language of southern Italy and the language group to which it belonged.The Oscan language was spoken by a number of tribes, including the Samnites, the Aurunci, the Sidicini, and the Ausones. The latter three tribes were often grouped under the name...


Past usage

Sabellic was originally the collective ethnonym
An ethnonym is the name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms and autonyms or endonyms .As an example, the ethnonym for...

 of the Italic people who inhabited central and southern Italy at the time of Roman expansion. The name was later used by Theodor Mommsen
Theodor Mommsen
Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen was a German classical scholar, historian, jurist, journalist, politician, archaeologist, and writer generally regarded as the greatest classicist of the 19th century. His work regarding Roman history is still of fundamental importance for contemporary research...

 in his Unteritalische Dialekte to describe the pre-Roman dialects of central Italy which were neither Oscan nor Umbrian. Nowadays, it is used to describe the Osco-Umbrian languages as a whole. The North Picene language
North Picene language
The North Picene language is a hypothetical construct based on four inscriptions of the Italian Iron Age from the Pesaro region of northeast Italy. The total number of words is about 60...

was once considered Sabellic; it is now believed to be a non-Indo-European language.