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Hellenistic Karia

Carbon Jan-Mathieu van Bremen Riet

Part three. Carian Inflections

Further thoughts on Carian nominal inflection

H. Craig Melchert

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The discovery and gratifyingly prompt and excellent publication of the Carian-Greek Bilingual of Kaunos affirmed the essential validity of what has been labeled the ‘Egyptological’ interpretation of the Carian alphabet, also referred to as the ‘Ray-Schürr-Adiego’ system, as presented in the table in Adiego1. While the value of a few individual letters remains debatable or indeterminate, the Carian alphabet may be regarded as deciphered2. The new bilingual also brought welcome confirmation of a few grammatical features in the noun that show that Carian does in fact belong to the Anatolian subgroup of Indo-European, closely related to Lycian, Lydian, Luvian.

The bilingual did not, however, lead to the expected breakthrough in elucidating the overall grammar of the language. Although the bilingual text represents a proxeny decree, a Greek institution, the Carian formulation of its contents appears to be relatively independent in its formal expression from the quite stereotypical Greek t...


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