Within the field of ancient bilingualism, Sicily represents a unique terrain for analysis as a result of its incredibly rich linguistic history, in which 'colonial' languages belonging to branches as diverse as Italic (Oscan and Latin), Greek and Semitic (Phoenician) interacted with the languages of the natives (the elusive Sicel, Sicanian and Elymian). The result of this ancient melting-pot was a culture characterised by 'postcolonial' features such as ethnic hybridity, multilingualism and artistic and literary experimentation. While Greek soon emerged as the leading language, dominating official communication and literature, epigraphic sources and indirect evidence show that the minority languages held their ground down to the fifth century BCE, and in some cases beyond. The first two parts of the volume discuss these languages and their interaction with Greek, while the third part focuses on the sociolinguistic revolution brought about by the arrival of the Romans.
Olga Tribulato is Research Fellow in Classics at Ca' Foscari University, Venice. She has published on Greek morphology and dialectology, ancient scientific language, literary dialects and epigraphy and co-edited (with Coulter George, Matthew McCullagh, Benedicte Nielsen and Antonia Ruppel) Greek and Latin from an Indo-European Perspective (2007).
Introduction. 'So many Sicilies': introducing language and linguistic contact in ancient Sicily O. Tribulato; Part I. Non-Classical Languages: 1. Language relations in Sicily: evidence for the speech of the ??????????????, the ?????????????? and others P. Poccetti; 2. The Elymian language S. Marchesini; 3. Phoenician and Punic in Sicily M. G. Amadasi Guzzo; 4. Oscan in Sicily J. Clackson; 5. Traces of language contact in Sicilian onomastics: the evidence from the Great Curse of Selinous G. Meiser; 6. Coins and language in ancient Sicily O. Simkin; Part II. Greek: 7. Sicilian Greek before the fourth century BC: a basic grammar S. Mimbrera Olarte; 8. The Sicilian Doric koine S. Mimbrera Olarte; 9. Intimations of koine in Sicilian Doric: the information provided by the Antiatticist A. C. Cassio; 10. 'We speak Peloponnesian': tradition and linguistic identity in postclassical Sicilian literature A. Willi; Part III. Latin: 11. Siculi bilingues? Latin in the inscriptions of early Roman Sicily O. Tribulato; 12. Sicily in the Roman imperial period: language and society K. Korhonen.