|Originally Latium in Italy, at maximum extent as a living language, throughout the Roman Empire, especially in western regions.|
|Proto-language||Proto-Latino-Faliscan (Praeneste fibula)|
Latino-Faliscan languages and dialects in different shades of blue.
The Latino-Faliscan or Latino-Venetic languages are a group of languages spoken by the Latino-Faliscan people of Italy beginning 1200 BC, belonging to the Italic languages, and are a group of the Indo-European languages.
Latin eventually absorbed ideas from the others and replaced Faliscan as the power of Ancient Rome grew. All of the other languages other than Latin went extinct as Latin became dominant. Latin, in turn, via Vulgar Latin, developed into the numerous Romance languages, which are now spoken by more than 800 million people worldwide, largely due to the influence of the French, Spanish and Portuguese Empires.
Latin and Faliscan have several innovations with Italic:
Some differences are that Latin and Faliscan retain the Indo-European labiovelars /*k?, *g?/ as qu-, gu- (they would later become velars + semivocal), while in Osco-Umbrian, they become labial p, b. In addition, Latin also shows the evolution of ou into ? (Latin l?na < Proto-Italic *louksn? < PIE *lówksneh? "moon").
A morphological innovation shared by Latin and Faliscan is the use of the accusative suffix -d, seen in med ("me", accusative), which is not present in Osco-Umbrian.
The consonant inventory of Proto-Latino-Faliscan would be basically identical to that of archaic Latin. Consonants not found in the Praeneste fibula are marked with an asterisk:
The /k?/ sound still had to exist in archaic Latin when the alphabet was developed where the minimum pair comes from: qu? /k/ ("who", nominative) - cu? /ku.?/ ("to whom", dative). Note that in other positions no attempt is made to distinguish between diphthongs and hiatuses: persu?dere ("to persuade") is a diphthong but sua ("his"/"her") is a hiatus. For reasons of symmetry, it is quite possible that many sequences of gu in archaic Latin will in fact represent a voiced labiovelar /g?/.
This article contains translated text and needs attention from someone fluent in Italian and English.
Initially, the Indo-Europeanists had been inclined to postulate a belonging to a unitary linguistic family for the various Indo-European languages of ancient Italy, parallel to that of Celtic or Germanic; the founder of this hypothesis is considered Antoine Meillet (1866-1936).
Starting from the work of Alois Walde (1869-1924), however, this unitary scheme has been subjected to radical criticism; decisive, in this sense, were the arguments put forward by Vittore Pisani (1899-1990) and, later also by Giacomo Devoto (1897-1974), who postulated the existence of two distinct Indo-European branches in which it is possible to inscribe the Italic languages. Variously reformulated in the years following the Second World War, the various hypotheses concerning the existence of two different Indo-European families have definitively imposed themselves, even if the specific traits that separate or close them, as well as the exact processes of formation and penetration into Italy, remain the object of research by historical linguistics.
The Latino-Faliscan languages were: