Historical and Etymological Grammar of Sardinian Language

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Historical and Etymological Grammar of Sardinian Language

by Salvatore Dedola


This work is not bound to "structural", or "transformational", or "generative" grammars.

Those expository and classification methods have no useful purpose at all to explain the

archaic, historical, diachronic phenomena that I am going to testify in this Grammar.

Least of all this Grammar is descriptive. It is not even prescriptive or normative; of these

we already have decent examples. Mine is properly a diachronic scientific grammar; it is

mainly a historical-etymological grammar, since without the help of a conspicuous mass of

etymologies (about 40,000) it would not have valid interpretative bases.

By means of this grammar I document and investigate the present expressions of

speakers, produced with articulations of sounds, phonic chains, semanthems, and

recorded by graphemes, with the aim of highlighting - assisted by etymologies - the

structural and functional knots that bind language to the primordial radicals, to the nominal

and verbal suffixes, to the ancestral matrices that can be scientifically found in pre-Latin

Mediterranean grammars.

Warning: this diachronic grammar is not even historical in the current sense of the word.

To be so, comparisons should be made within a “time grid”, they should aspire to

document - century after century - the evolution of lexicon and grammatical structures in

Sardinian language. Such work would be possible only by going backwards from today to

the year 1000. Once there, it is necessary to jump back 500 years and glide over the Latin

language. What can we say about that 500-year-old blank, roughly corresponding to the

"dark ages" of Sardinian Middle Ages? Anything, nil.

Going further back and detaching ourselves from the Latin language (which in Sardinia

almost exclusively left the Tabula of Esterzìli: but this is an edict written by the occupyings),

we know this Island allowed for so-called Phoenician and Phoenician-Punic language; of

the Phoenician one, however, with the exception of Nora’s Stele, inconsistent documents

remain; while the availability of the Punic one is wider, albeit little known.

In short, apart from the Cagliari Charter of 1089 written with Greek letters but in

Sardinian language, history of Sardinian language gives too little, falling below the Year

1000 of Common Era; moving further back there is documentary darkness.

With such scarce material - occasional and moreover not indigenous - we should sadly

admit that authentically Sardinian production stops at 1000 C.E. while in the remote

Sardinia vanishes as a speaking and writing nation. Therefore, if I wanted to satisfy the

expectations of Romance philologists, I would have to produce a "light" historical grammar,

illustrating the last ten centuries, the undertaking of which I gladly leave to those who are

satisfied with the unfinished ones, which are moreover easily adaptable to the script of

other grammars already written for various European languages.

Nobody is scandalized if I aspire to treat, together with the current one, a Grammar of

Sardinian Language of Origins, a grammar relating to times in which the Latin language

had not yet had an opportunity to try to delete the archaic language of Sardinia.

Considering the immense amount of etymological material I placed in relation to this island

(they are, in fact, 40,000 etymes), I can affirm Sardinian language is among the oldest in

the world, in the sense it’s one of the rare languages in the world that has never died,

although it has soberly adapted to the passage of time, as we shall see. [...]

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Historical and Etymological Grammar of Sardinian Language

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Historical and Etymological Grammar of Sardinian Language

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