UI-RA-LA: The Ancient World of Boat Peoples, by Andres PÄÄbo




A Summary of Results of Analysis of Venetic Inscriptions  Documented in THE VENETIC  LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL

Andres  P ä ä b o 

The following paper is from the chapter on Venetic Grammar documented  in “THE VENETIC  LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL” in order to present a summary of the Venetic Grammar as discovered in the study – with some improvements and expansions from the original, wherever some further observations could be made. As explained in the original document, this grammar is basically achieved directly from the Venetic inscriptions.  The methodology of deciphering involved a great deal of attention to the context as determined by archeology, in which the sentences must  resonate with the context; and also context within the sentence once partially deciphered. Thus the methodology did not project any known language onto the Venetic. However, once it was clear Venetic was Finnic, we began to take notice of parallels in Estonian and Finnish and discovered some major grammatical endings were close to the same. In languages, grammar changes most slowly, and that is why more distant languages will still be similar in grammatical features.  And that is also why for any suggestion that Venetic was genetically connected to Estonian or Finnish, we MUST find similarity in grammar. If Venetic was Finnic, Estonian and Finnish grammar can now be used also for further insights. The following is intended for the average educated reader. It contains little linguistic jargon and this paper should be easy to read and comprehend for the average person with some higher education.


Grammar cannot be directly discovered. It is  necessary to include its discovery in the general pursuit of word stems, and meaningful sentences that agree with the archeological context. It is only during the discovery of sentences and maintaining a constancy in word stems, that  it is possible to look for the grammatical endings that function in the same way in all the sentences. It is only in the final stage that the gaps in terms of grammatical markers get filled in and we have an organized description. That is the reason I did not create this description of grammar until the very end.  See “THE VENETIC  LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL” for the word stems and translations of the existing sentences on the archeological objects.

They say that the only way to prove that you have discovered a real language is if you have identified sufficient word stems (lexicon) and grammar that you can form new sentences that have not existed before.  I have achieved this, as will be clear in some examples in this paper.

In general, the common public will think that anything to do with language, including deciphering an unknown language, is a matter of the science of linguistics; but nothing could be further from the truth. Linguistics is the science that studies languages. If a language is unknown or even no longer existing, there is nothing for linguistics to study. An extinct language is just silence, and an unknown language is simply noise patterns. Ancient Greeks called people who spoke in a way they couldn't understand by the word "barbarian".

There is only one way to decipher an unknown language, and that is to witness it in use. Linguists will try to find an 'informant' - a person who speaks the unknown language and a known language that the linguist knows as well. If Venetic had survived until today, then linguists would have no problem deciphering it. But Venetic is extinct as a spoken language. It only exists in short sentences written on archeological objects dug up in northern Italy over the past centuries. In the past, when unknown inscriptions have been found, scholars have hoped to find translations of the unknown language in a known ancient language like ancient Greek, Roman, Phoenician, etc,  But none has been found. Many Etruscan words have been deciphered from some parallel texts. As for the ancient language of Crete, nobody has cracked that one at all. As for Venetic, archeology has never found any inscription with a parallel text in a known language like Latin.  As the region of the Veneti, in the northwest side of the Adriatic Sea became Romanized, insriptions on cremation urns became slowly Romanized. Traditional funerary keywords on urns continued to be used, sometimes abbreviated. The mixture of Venetic and Latin conventions invited some scholars to assume that Venetic was already a Latinlike language. And so, the urn inscriptions of the Romanization period were projected into the past. No matter how much self-deception there was to try to see Venetic as a Latin-like language, there really was no parallel text in understandable Latin to be found.

There is only one linguistic method for deciphering an unknown language. If the unknown language is known to simply be related to a known language, then the analysts can simply project the known language onto the unknown.  For example Venetic presents the word .e.go at the beginnings of inscriptions on obelisques marking the location of tombs. It looks like Latin ego 'I' so IF YOU BELIEVE Venetic is an ancestral language to Latin, then you will project .Latin ego onto Venetic .e.go. The absurd result is that all the tomb markers have the deceased declaring their name 'I am [proper name assumed in the rest of the sentence]'  If you assume Venetic is Latin-like Venetic dona.s.to looks like Latin donato 'give'. By coincidence the analyst can see a number of sentences that look like offerings or gifts are being given to a deity named "Reitia". If the number of sentences is large, then if the hypothesis is false it will soon be apparent, and the pursuit of trying to project the Latin onto the Venetic will come to an end, and replaced by another hypothesis. This had already happened several times.  A hypothesis that Venetic was "Illyrian" preceded the hypothesis that Venetic was an archaic Latin. (This stage was documented in LLV in the 1960's - see Referemces at the end) Since that did not produce enough results,  some Slovenian  academics  began to  advance the hypothesis that Venetic was an ancient Slovenian/Slavic. Meanwhile the  formal  academic  world that had pursued Venetic as  an archaic Latin,  finally decided it was simply an unknown ancient Indo-European. (This is the last stage and was documented in the 1980's in MLV - see Refences)

In general, the practice of linguistically projecting an ASSUMED known language onto the Venetic inscriptions, has produced inadequate results. Sentences are often empty like personal names on tombstones, or extremely poetic because the literal translation sound absurd.

When I tackled the deciphering problem, I went back to basic principles and asked what would I do if I came upon a people with an unknown language somewhere, and they did not know my language. The answer is obvious: I would learn the language by observing how it was used in everyday life, infer meanings, and try to join in and be corrected if I spoke wrong. Could this methodology be applied if the language only existed on archeological objects? It is possible if you reconstruct the situations in which the objects were made and used. Today children learn to read from books with sentences under pictures that describe what is pictured. It happens that the Venetic archeological objects include a number of relief images with texts around them that are obviously captions to what the images show.

Thus the natural way we learn an unknown language is possible if the analyst actually projects themself into the people and world that archeology can reconstruct.  We infer meanings of words and, although there are no real speakers to correct us, we are able to cross-reference out hypotheses with the circumstances surrounding the same word or grammatical ending in another inscription on another object.

This methodology too improves the more examples of objects and inscriptions there are, but it is surprising how far one can get in this way. This is because after getting some very solid results from inferring meanings from the archeological context, it is possible to partially decipher some sentences, it is possible now to additionally infer meanings for the unknown words, meanings that fill out the sentences. Of course the inferred meanings have to undergo cross-checking throughout all locations it appears.  Back and forth, working on the entire body of inscriptions at one, more an more words are revealed in this way. Inferring meanings when we can produce partial translations of course requires we have complete sentences so that we can identify subjects, objects, etc. Because there were less than 100 complete sentences, inevitably we would find words that became a problem, but surprisingly, in the end there were only a handful of sentences that did not get interpreted in some way.

It is possible to argue that Venetic could have been a Finnic language because it was located at the southern terminus of amber routes, mentioned already in ancient times, and confirmed by archeology in the last century. But I did not EVER project any modern Finnic language like Estonian or Finnish onto the Venetic. I determined it doesn't really work. The Venetic was as different from Estonian or Finnish as, say, Danish from Swedish. Some similarities could be detected but it would certainly be impossible to compare Venetic with any language that was 2000 years in its future.

However, once I had determined an approximate meaning for a word, the Venetic word could then be projected into Estonian or Finnish. Since we were projecting from Venetic into Estonian, the Venetic would be identifying a true descendant word and all the rest of the thousands of dictionary words would be invisible to it.  Even so, the meaning in the Venetic ruled, and finding descendant words in Estonian only served to confirm the meaning, or to narrow down, or refine the meaning. This helped improve results by maybe 10-20%.

Linguists say that languages do not change at the same rate throughout. Frequently used words  obtain an inertia and are passed down from generation to generation. The language taught to children tends to be  the same language through a hundred generations. Common grammar too - such as basic case endings, imperatives, simple present and past tense - tends to endure longer. This can be seen when comparing Estonian and Finnish: the basic grammatical endings are the same, and only the rarer grammatical forms differ. For this reason linguists look at grammatical structure similarity to find distant genetic relationships. Theoretically, if Venetic, Estonian and Finnish are related from having a common ancestor several millenia ago, then their basic grammar should be similar. I therefore used, in my description of grammar below, a comparison of Venetic grammar with Estonian and Finnish grammar, in order to show the parallelism. The grammar is somewhat limited though, because I only had less than 100 complete sentences to work with. Often used grammatical forms include the third person imperative, infinitive, partitive, inessive,...You will see below, that when the Venetic is compared to Estonian and Finnish, there are gaps. Some of the gaps can be inferred from the Estonian and Finnish forms.

The proof that the Venetic language has been discovered comes from rationalizing the grammar to such an extent it is possible to create new sentences, and from all the translations of the known Venetic sentences being believable and suitable for the objects and circumstances in which they were found.

See “THE VENETIC  LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL” for a detailed description of the ideal methodology I used, and which eventually revealed the Venetic language was Finnic.

Because in the end, we found that the Venetic language looked Finnic, I organized my description of Venetic in a form that makes reference to Finnic languages. Since most readers will know very little about Finnic language (the best known are Finnish and Estonian), here is a basic summary of characteristics of Finnic languages in the Introduction..

Finnic languages are NON-Indo-European language, and therefore most readers of this will be entering foreign territory. Most scholars know absolutely nothing about Finnic languages, and that is and has been an obstacle to proper investigation of the Venetic inscriptions. When Venetic is regarded as Latin-like, or generally Indo-European, then a million scholars can try to relate to it. But when Venetic is viewed as NON-Indo-European, the number of scholars both educated and interested in the subject drops to merely handfuls.

Thus in this section of describing the results of my determinations of case endings, you have to think in a different way than when thinking of Indo-European languages.


1.1  Venetic as a Finnic Language Must Be Viewed Differently

Basically Finnic languages are strong in case endings, and case endings can be added to case endings. This is a very old manner of constructing sentences. The only more primitive language forms can be seen in either ancient Sumerian, or today’s Inuit of arctic North America – where ideas are formed by combining small syllabic elements.  In the course of the evolution of languages case endings became incorporated into word stems, and the freedom to play with case endings decreased. Also modifiers became separate words placed at the front.

There has been a steady conversion of humankind’s language from short syllabic words freely combined, to today’s large number of independent words. It can be compared to making soup from raw vegetables compared to buying ready-made soup in a can. Modern words are the consequence of the ‘canning and cooking of basic elements’. In Estonian and Finnish it is possible to see the consituent elements in words. For example  the word Eestlane, ‘Estonian’ or in Finnish  Eestilainen, is regarded as a word, but already adds two elements onto the stem Eesti. We have –la meaning ‘place of’  (Eestla = ‘Estonian place’) and then –ane or –ainen meaning ‘pertaining to, of the character of’  These are not recognized as case endings because they are not freely added in actual usage, but poetic authors could do so. For example using puu ‘tree’, one can say puulane   and could use it to mean ‘animal of the tree’ such as a squirrel or monkey or even a human who lives in a treehouse.  Today a large number of endings are not regarded as adding case endings but as ‘derivational suffixes’ I think part of the problem was that past Finnic linguists did not want to stray too far from the grammar descriptions of Indo-European languages. There was an inferiority complex. Estonians and Finns were even self-conscious of their culture and language having aboriginal origins in the prehistoric canoe-using hunter-gatherers

Thus, using the above examples,  Eestlane or puulane are words in themselves and to this we can add more case endings. We can thus have Eestlastele from Eestlane – t – ele ‘to the Estonians’.  But from a more polysynthetic view, we have  Eesti – la – ne – t – ele   A great deal of the Estonian and Finnish words already contain many of the abovementioned ‘derivational suffixes’ which to a great extent can be case endings too if an author wants to play with them.

It shows the progression – that as structures with case endings become used so often they seem like words in themselves, the constituent case endings become frozen into them. It is how all the words in all languages evolved. All that has happened is that some languages progressed slowly on this path, which other progressed slowly.

From a Finnic perspective, some Venetic words produce revealing results when broken down into their elements. For example the goddess is addressed with $a.i.na te.i. re.i.tiia.i.   I interpreted $a as the basic stem meaning ‘lord, god’  -.i.- is a pluralizer, and –na is a case ending meaning ‘in the form, nature, of’   The resulting meaning is to describe the goddess having ‘the character of gods’. It resonates a bit with Etruscan eisna ‘divine’ and with Estonian issa- ‘lord’ and we can form a parallel  issa-i-na  The intent was to address the goddess in the praiseful way so that the whole $a.i.na te.i. re.i.tiia.i.  means ‘joining  with You, Rhea, of the nature of the gods’  (‘of the nature of the gods’ can be stated simply with ‘divine’.)

Words that were difficult to decipher from context, became easy when broken apart into Finnic-type elements, but often resulted in abstract ideas whose precise meaning needed some imagining of what went on in the actual context. For example V.i.rema.i.stna.i.  (v.i.rema = v.i.-re-ma  and then  v.i.rema - .i. - .s.t - na - .i.) which is very abstract but because it was used in place of  $a.i.na it has to be praisful, and so I decided it meant something like ‘uniting with Rhea in the nature of arising from the land of life energy’. Similar sentences in the same context plus the context of the sentence, helped move towards the more precise meaning. Note that ancient language was always spoken in context, so that the context would help in making the meaning clearer.

1.2  Some Notes on reading and writing Venetic Inscriptions

Venetic writing was peculiar in that dots were added between characters, whereas Etruscan and Latin used dots only to mark word boundaries.

The convention is to write the Venetic text in small case Roman, introducing the dots in the correct places.

The Venetic inscriptions do not mark word boundaries. Instead the sentences are written continuously, and dots are added before and after letters. This practice has puzzled traditional analysts and had come to be regarded as a ‘syllabic punctuation’, but I discovered this is incorrect. Venetic writing is pure phonetic writing with the dots used to mark situations in which the pure sound of the character is altered by actions of the tongue – mostly palatalization. If a dot appears before and after a character, the sound of that character is palatalized.  The dots can be thought of as tiny “I”s.  These are phonetic and easy to understand. Writers simply threw the dots into the script where there was palatalization or some other effect from the tongue, such as trilling an R, and single dots could also be used to signal pauses or added length. (A consonant becomes a pause while a vowel gets added length)

The phonetic marking helps us understand how Venetic was spoken (One can use highly palatalized Livonian – a Finnic language – as a model for how to speak Venetic, but also the palatalization survives in Danish, even though the original Suebic was replaced by Germanic.)

But as far as grammar is concerned, I think the palatalization was just a paralinguistic feature, and did not really have to be marked. If Venetic had been written with dots or spaces separating words, it would have been fine – except that our ability to understand how it sounded would be lost.  Therefore, the reader of this description of grammar need not be concerned about the dots too much. Estonian has weak paltalization which is not explicitly marked, whereas Livonian has strong palatalization and it is marked. Venetic probably does not need to mark the palatalization, and it exists only to reproduce the actual sound when word boundaries are not shown.  I show the dots anyway in order to remain true to the original Venetic writing.

For a detailed discussion of the dots, see the main document, or my separate paper on the dots. (See references for "How Venetic Sounded")

NOTE : In the following examples of Venetic texts, we represent the character that looks like an M in the Venetic alphabet with the keyboard character  $ but we interpret the sound as   "ISS" as in English "hiss", whereas the s with the dots is palatalized and sounds like "sh"

1.3  Finnic Grammatical Features to Find in Venetic

The following presents the main characteristics of Finnic found in Estonian and Finnish. We bear these in mind in order to be on the lookout for these characteristics in Venetic.


    Venetic as a Finnic language would be agglutinative. That means case endings (or suffixes), can be added to case endings to express complex thoughts.  This is actually a degeneration of the most primitive forms of language which have a relatively small number of stems, and an abundance of suffixes, affixes and prefixes. Linguists call a language that is extremely of this nature ‘polysynthetic’ .The Inuit language is a good example. There are indications in some Inuit words and grammar that it has the same ancestor as Finnic languages.  Finnic languages are best understood if they are seen as having such a ‘polysynthetic’ foundation, and then being influenced towards the form of language seen in Indo-European.

(It is important to note that the modern descriptions of Finnic languages like Estonian and Finnish are somewhat contrived in that they modeled themselves after grammatical description models similar to what had already been done in other European languages. The reality is that Estonian or Finnish case endings are merely selections of the most common endings from a large array of possible suffixes. Thus even though in the following pages we are oriented to specific formalized case endings in Estonian and Finnish, there remains also suffixes that could have been described as case endings if the linguist who developed the popular grammatical descriptions had chosen to. The difference between ‘derivational suffixes’ and ‘case endings’ is merely in the latter being commonly applied in the opinion of the linguists who described the grammar.)

 It seems as if in the evolution of language, the ‘polysynthetic’ form degenerated in the direction of our familiar modern European languages, where there are less and less case endings, and more and more independent modifiers located in front. But Finnic languages are not as ‘primitive’ as Inuit, and have developed through millennia of being influenced from the languages of the farmers and civilizations - some premodifiers, adjectives, prepositions and other features placed in front. Venetic, like modern Finnic, present some instances of prepositions and pre-modifiers, like  va.n.t.- and  bo-  but in general there are very few modifiers in front. It appears that instead of adjectives, Venetic liked to create compound words, where the first part – a pure stem without case endings – was somewhat adjectival.


There is no gender in Finnic languages. There is no ‘la’ or ‘le’ in front, nor any gender marker at the end. English too lacks gender in nouns, so that will not be a problem for English readers here.  But there is only one pronoun in Finnic for ‘he,she, it’. In Venetic we do not mistakenedly consider some repeated ending to be a gender marker, but  look for a case ending or suffix.


  In English and many European Indo-European languages, there are definite and indefinite articles.  For example French has un or une as the indefinite article and le or la as the definite article. Finnic does not have it. Instead the indefinite sense as in ‘a’ or ‘some’ is expressed via the Partitive.  The Partitive is a case form that views something as being part of something larger.  For example “a” house among many houses. or “some” houses among many houses.


 Plural in Estonian and Finnish  is marked by T,D  or I, J added to the stem according to phonetics requirements. Finnish only uses the T in the Nominative and Accusative, and then uses I, or J to form the plural stem.  Estonian uses T for plural stem, and then uses I or J if necessary where phonetics calls for it.  Venetic appears to have both plural markers too, but perhaps more like Estonian.  As we will see,  there is more reason to attribute Estonian conventions than Finnish conventions to Venetic. (There is reason to believe that Estonian and Venetic/Suebic have the same ancestral language – see later.)


Venetic shows evidence of consonant gradation and vowel and consonant harmony. For example if a suffix/ending is added to a stem with high vowels or soft consonants, the sound of the suffix may be altered to suit - with a lower vowel going higher, or a soft consonant going harder. For example  ekupetaris has hard consonants P,T, hence the K in eku  instead of G as in .e.g.e.s.t.s.   We can find similar situations with vowels, unforunately the Venetic inscriptions are phonetic and capture dialectic variations, and the number of examples is very small.


  A compound word occurs when a word stem is added to the front of another word stem. The case endings then are added to the combined word. We can detect them in Venetic when we see a naked word stem in front of another word stem but the latter taking the case endings.


Generally all words develop in the following way, but this is less noticable in the major languages today.  Words began with very short stems with broad, fluid, meanings. As humans evolved, they needed to name things more specifically, and did so by combining them with additional elements – suffixes, infixes and prefixes. As the new word came into common use, the new word would become a stem in itself, taking its own grammatical endings.  Because of abbreviation and other changes in the stem, the fact that the stem arose from a simpler stem, becomes obscured. For example in Estonian we might create the word puu-la-ne ‘tree-place-pertainingto’ as a poetic word for an animal who lives in trees.  If this word were to come into common use, such as describing a squirrel, we might have puulane =’squirrel’ which then over time might degenerate to pulanPuulane>pulan then is a stem for  endings, such as  pulanest ‘from the squirrel’. This is invented for illustration, but a real example might be how the word  vee might have developed into the word for ‘boat’ as follows:  vee (‘water’) > vee-ne (‘pertaining to water’) >vee-ne-s (‘object pertaining to water’) > reducing to vene (‘boat’).

(In our analysis of Venetic, we looked into the internal construction of  words for insights)



2.1.1. Static vs  Dynamic Interpretations of Some Case Endings

When one first looks at Venetic the first thing one notices are endings of the form -a.i. or -o.i. or -e.i.  Sometimes there is a double II in front, as in -iia.i.  A good example is re.i.tiia.i.  The context of the sentence, even when it was viewed from a Latin perspective from imagining  dona.s.to was like Latin donato, is that it was like a Dative – an offering was being given ‘to’ a Goddess. This remains true when viewed in our new Finnic perspective - something is brought ‘to’ Rhea. But is it a Dative? I was fully prepared to grant that ending,  (vowel).i. , a Dative label, but the more I studied it wherever it occurred it seemed to most of the time to have a meaning analogous to how in modern religious sermons, the priest might say ‘to join God’ or ‘to unite with the holy’ and so on. I eventually found this idea of 'uniting with' has to be correct because in the prayers written to the goddess Rhea at sanctuaries, written in conjunction with burnt offerings, one is not giving the offering to Rhea in the manner of a gift, but rather releasing and sending the spirit via the smoke which then joins or unites with Rhea up in the clouds. Indeed even in modern religions one does not 'give' something to our high deity, but sends something to the deity, to be with the deity, to unite with the deity.

But what was this case ending if it was not Dative? What case ending would mean ‘uniting with’? But then I saw the ending from time to time in a context where it seemed to be like a regular Partitive. If a regular Partitive has a meaning ‘a thing’ or in plural ‘some things’ and can be described as something ‘being part of’ a larger whole, then if it were viewed in a dynamic way, would that not mean ‘becoming part of, to unite with’? If this is the case, then we would have to discover Venetic having a static vs dynamic interpretation in other case endings too.

Let us assume the Partitive has two forms – the normal static form and a dynamic form (‘becoming part of, uniting with, joining’) Let us investigate.

Overlooking similar endings for the Terminative -na.i. or  used for the infinitive use of (vowel).i., which we will discuss later, we can find the example.

lemeto.i.   .u.r.kleiio.i.  -   [funerary urn - MLV-82, LLV-Es81]
‘Warm-feelings. To join the oracle’s eternity’

In this describing of Venetic grammar we will not explain the entire laborious process of establishing the word stems. That information is extensively discussed in the main document - “THE VENETIC  LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL”.

Here the first word, a plural of leme can only be a static Partitive – ‘Some warm-feelings’, while the second expresses a dynamic Partitive conveying the sense of ‘towards’ in the sense of ‘joining’ (‘becoming part of’)  an infinite destination, the infinite future with which the oracle deals with. One may wonder if the double I (-ii-) is an infix that makes it dynamic. (See later discussion of the -ii-)

If it is possible for a language to allow a case ending to be interpreted in both a dynamic and a static way, what more can we say about it? What do I mean by dynamic vs static meanings of a case form?

It is not unusual for a word to have a different role in a different sentence context. An example of dynamic vs static interpretation can be seen in how English uses ‘in’.  One can say “He went in the house” and it would be clear the meaning is he went ‘into’ the house.

But if this variation in meaning depending on the whole sentence meaning only occurs with the Partitive, then we may wonder if the hypothesis is correct. But then  I found that Venetic appears to have both dynamic and static ways of interpreting ‘in’ as well. The Venetic Inessive (‘in’) is marked by .s. – often the meaning, as a result of context, ‘into’ not ‘in’ as Inessive requires. The only difference between the concept ‘in’ and the concept ‘into’ is whether there is movement. Thus one case can be used for both static and dynamic intepretations. The correct interpretation is determined from the context. There is no need to create separate cases for when there is no movement, vs movement, if it is easy to understand from the context. It can be argued, then, that case endings originally did not explicitly make the distinction - except if clarity was needed, an adverb was added that explicitly meant, for example, 'into' (in Estonian there is sisse 'into' so one can say 'he went in the house - into' as in tema läks majas -sisse' which evolved to tema läks majasse'.

Modern Finnic languages have developed explicit static vs dynamic interpretations – perhaps from the development of literature which promoted more precision. For example modern Finnic will have an explicit ‘in’ case in the Inessive  and an explicit ‘into’ case in the Illative. But  perhaps originally it was not that way. One indication of it is the fact that, for example, the Estonian and Finnish Inessive (‘in’) case endings are similar (Finn. -ssa versus Est.  –s) and yet the Estonian and Finnish Illative (‘into’) case endings are different . This suggests that the Illative case is a more recent development and they do not have a common parent. The common parent would have had an Inessive case that could have a dynamic meaning if the context required it. Then I think the use of the language – probably about a thousand years ago -  put pressure on being more explicit and that lead to Finnish and Estonian developing an Illative each in their own separate way. Finnish has an Illative case (‘into’) that looks like it was developed out of stretching the Genitive (‘of’) for example Finnish talo - Genitive talon, Illative taloon. Meanwhile Estonian has an Illative that looks like it was an enhancement from the original Inessive in that –s becomes –sse . Estonian (using talu) the Inessive (‘in’) talus, Illative (‘into’)  talusse.
In summary, it appears that the ancestral language of Estonian and Finnish only had the Inessive, and that the Illative developed when Estonian and Finnish had branched away from each other, and perhaps only less than the last  two millenia. In short, the Illatives being very different, are not related, while Inessives are similar, hence are related and must have been in the common ancestral language. If Venetic only has the Inessive for both usages, then Venetic precedes any development of an explicit Illative.

The development of the Illative described, indicates that they developed from a lengthening of a static case. This lengthening is a natural development when we wish to indicate movement. For example, Estonian Illative  -sse can easily arise from the speaker of an original –s simply lengthening it to emphasize movement, as in talus > talusse. What is peculiar is that the Finnish Illative was developed by adding length to the Genitive! It is possible when you consider that you can start with a Genitive (talon ‘of the house) and exaggerate it to get the concept of ‘becoming of’ (taloon ‘becoming of the house’ =‘into the house’) Thus, technically the Estonian Illative and Finnish Illative have different underlining meanings!

This shows that if originally Finnic had static case endings that would assume dynamic meanings (from movement) from context, the dynamic forms could be spontaneously implied by the speaker simply lengthening it.  We take any static case and add into the meaning ‘becoming’ as for example ‘into’ = ‘becoming in’.

Thus if we accept that Venetic cases could be interpreted in both static and dynamic ways, we have to allow all the static case endings the possibility of having dynamic meanings.

Returning to the Venetic Partitive. Depending on the context, the listener would interpret the Partitive ending either in a static way ‘part of a’ or a dynamic way ‘become part of a’  ideally interpreted in English as ‘unite with, join with’  That is the reason, I interpret re.i.tiia.i. with ‘join with Rhea’ instead of simply ‘to Rhea’. I believe the intended meaning was that the item brought to the sanctuary and sent skyward as a burnt offering was intended to join Rhea, become part of Rhea – the Partitive case assuming a dynamic meaning here that had a more complex implication to it – that of the offering travelling into the sky and joining, uniting with, becoming part of Rhea.  As I said above, the idea is reflected in modern religious ideas of ‘uniting with God’.

We have above now identified two Venetic case endings that can be interpreted either statically or dynamically.  (v means ‘vowel’)
-v.s. can mean either ‘in’ or ‘becoming in’=’into’
-v.i. can mean either ‘a (part of)’ or ‘becoming part of’ = ‘join, unite with’ and an added -ii- may emphasize the latter.

I noticed that often the seeming dynamic interpretation of the Partitive  in Venetic is preceeded with the double ii as in the example re.i.tiia.i.  This insertion of the long ii sound may be an explicit development, analogous in the psychological effect of lengthening, to how Finnish achieves the Illative meaning by lengthening the last vowel (example taloon). It can therefore be interpreted with its psychological quality. The possibility exists that the double ii can serve as an explicit way of making the following ending dynamic. That is to say perhaps –iia.i. instead of just –a.i emphasizes the fact there is movement. We will consider the –ii- infix further later.

The following sections describe case endings, in the order of presence in the Venetic. The case endings names are inspired by Estonian and Finnish case ending names. We will reveal  examples in the Venetic inscriptions and  note them. However, case endings are really frequently-used suffixes, and Venetic may have some additional suffixes which could be considered additional case endings for Venetic. A summary of our investigation of case endings and comparisons with Estonian and Finnish case endings will follow this section in the table at the end of section 2

2.1.2. Introduction to Est./Finn. Case Endings and the Presence of these Case Endings in Venetic.

Since we will structure our description of Venetic case endings in the standard descriptions used for Estonian and Finnish, and since we will make comparisons between Venetic and Estonian and Finnish case endings, we should first summarize the common accepted case endings in Estonian and Finnish.
The list is oriented to Estonian and the modern order in listing them. This is by way of summary of the ones we have looked at, showing which ones do and do not have resonances with Venetic. See also the chart given in Table 2.

The following is an introductory overview of the possible case endings based on Estonian and Finnish. This will be followed by more detailed study of each, and how it is represented in Venetic.

Nominative --     identified by a finalizing element that has to be softened when made into a stem. Even if the last letter may be hardened over the stem, there is no formal suffix or case ending.

Genitive ‘of’ (Estonian) [stem], (Finnish) -n    identified by a softened ending able to take case endings  Venetic seems to have gone the direction of Estonian – ie Genitive given by stem

Partitive ‘part of’ (Estonian) -t  (Finnish) -a       Venetic appears to have evolved to convert the –t in the parental language of Estonian and Venetic/Suebic into – (.i.)

Inessive  ‘in’ (Est.) -s  (Finn.) -ssa        Appears in Veneti as -.s. but Venetic uses it in both a static way to describe something and a dynamic way with meaning of Illative ‘into’

Illative  ‘into’ (Est.)-sse  (Finn)-v v     NOT in Venetic, meaning the explicit Illative may be a development since Venetic times, as I described above. Venetic allows –.s. to assume this dynamic meaning according to context needs.

Elative ‘out of’ (Est.)-st, (Finn) -sta strong in Finnic languages including Venetic but appearing mainly as a nominalizer and therefore must be very old

Adessive ‘at (location)’ (Est.)-l  (Finn.)-lla    Due to similarities between Est. and Finn. versions is another very old ending, hence expected within Venetic (and is as -l)

Allative  ‘to (location)’ (Est. and Finn.)-lle   Because it is found in both Est. and Finn. also very old, and we found it in Venetic as –le.i..

Ablative ‘from (location) (Est.) -lt (Finn.) -lta   Probably also in Venetic at least embedded in words like vo.l.tiio

Translative  ‘transform into’ (Est.)-ks   (Finn.)-ksi  Not identified yet in Venetic, but if it exists in both Estonian and Finnish one might expect it does exist in Venetic too. One watches for evidence.

Essive ‘as’ (same in all three languages)-na     This is one of the endings that must be very old to appear in all three.

Terminative   ‘up to, until’ (Est.)-ni  (not acknowledged in Finnish grammar)  This seems it may exist in Venetic as Essive plus dynamic Partitive  -na.i.  –ne.i. 

Abessive ‘without’ (Est.) -ta   Not noticed in the Venetic, but could be there somewhere.

Comitative  ‘with, along with’ (Est) -ga    Venetic definitely presented k’ or ke in the meaning ‘and, also’ as in Estonian  ka, -ga. Unclear if it occurs as a suffix in Venetic.

The following go through the above in more detail:

2.1.3. Nominative Case
In Estonian the nominative has a hard ending  as it lacks case ending or suffix. If there is a case ending, there is a stem with a softened ending since more will be added to it. Common in Estonian is the softening of a consonant too. For example  Nom. kond, and stem becomes konna-  Since we find in Venetic -gonta as well as -gonta.i. etc this character of reducing the t to n may not exist in Venetic. I expected in Venetic too the Nominative may show a harder or more final terminal sound than when it becomes a stem for endings. It may depend on the nature of the stem. But  in the Venetic inscriptions I simply looked for the stem without endings and that would then be the nominative.

It may seem strange, but the appearance of the Nominative in the Venetic inscriptions is very rare – almost always there was some kind of ending – because most of the sentences have the following as the subject (The nominative occurs only as the subject)

dona.s.to  ‘the brought-thing’ 

dona.s.to however contains endings, as the primitive stem is do-  See discussion in section 1.2
Some other Nominatives (underlined)...(Spaces added to show word boundaries)

5.K)     .a.tta ‘the end’       [urn- MLV-99, LLV-Es2] 

7.A)  ada.n  dona.s.to   re.i.tiia.i  v.i.etiana  .o.tnia [MLV-32 LLV-Es51]

Above we see the ending –ia  Such an ending is indicative of the Nominative. It resembles the –ia ending used in Latin, but did not come from Latin since Venetic is older than Latin.

7.B)    v.i.o.u.go.n.ta  lemeto.r.na   .e.b. -  “The collection of conveyances,  as ingratiation producers, remains”    [MLV-38bis, LLV-ES-58]

Above we see  v.i.o.u.go.n.ta    which is unusual since this word usually occurs with an ending  like v.i.o.u.go.n.ta.i and hence is usuallly not nominative.

In general, once you determine the word stem from scanning all words for the common first portion, you can assume when that word stem occurs without any such ending, it is Nominative. Later we will see something similar when studying verbs. When a verb appears not to have any endings, then we regard it as the common imperative. (See later section on verbs) For verbs we determine the verb stem by removing the endings (The present indicative, past participle, infinite, imperative...)

2.1.4. Partitive Case  -v.i.  ‘part of; becoming part of’

    This is the case ending that earlier analysis from Latin or Indo-European was thought to be “Dative” because by coincidence the mistakened idea that dona.s.to was related to Latin donato, the prayers to the goddess seemed to speak of an offering being given to the goddess. (In reality nothing was being given directly to the goddess, but something was being burnt and its spirit was being sent up to join with the goddess in the clouds, and that needed a different kind of case ending than simply giving.)

Practically any static case ending could become a dynamic one which can be interpreted broadly with ‘to’.  A good example a Genetive ending meaning ‘of, possessing’’ in a dynamic sentence with movement can become  ‘becoming possessed by’ as in ‘coming to be of, coming to possess’ which in a general way can be interpreted as ‘to’ in the sense that when something is given ‘to’ someone, it is becoming possessed by them. Similarly giving something ‘to’ someone can also mean ‘becoming part of’ (from Partitive) or ‘becoming inside’ (from Inessive, turning into an Illative meaning) or ‘coming to the location of’ (from Adessive, becoming  Allative in meaning). As I said in 2.1.1, I believe that in actual real world use, the dynamic interpretation was dictated by context. But with the arrival of literature much context was lost and it was necessary to be more explicit in terms of whether a meaning was static or dynamic. And sometimes a meaning could shift. I believe that Finnish Illative ‘into’ developed from its Genetive – that the dynamic Genetive meaning ‘becoming of, becoming possessed by’  came to be used in the sense of ‘becoming inside’.

Similarly a dynamic Partitive ‘becoming part of, uniting with’ could shift its meaning towards the Dative idea of giving something ‘to’ someone.

The main reason for my regarding this case ending as a Partitive rather than another case that will also reduce to a Dative-like ‘to’, is that in some contexts in the inscriptions it appears in a regular Partitive fashion much like in Estonian or Finnish. That means that the dynamic meaning of the ‘to’-concept actually means ‘becoming part of’, or ‘uniting with’, etc.

Comparing with Estonian Partitive.  Here is more evidence that this case ending in Venetic of the form  -v.i. was intrinsically Partitive: we can demonstrate that the Venetic Partitive can be achieved if an Estonianlike Partitive (which may have existed a couple millenia ago in the common language) was spoken in an intensely palatalized manner. I explain it as follows:

The Partitive in general can be viewed as a plural treated in a singular way (one item being part of many), and so the plural markers come into play. The plural markers in Finnic are -T-,-D-, and -I-,-J-; hence the replacement of T, D with J,I is already intrinsic to Finnic languages. When speakers of the ancestor to Venetic – Suebic – began to palatalize a great deal, they found the -J ending more comfortable than -T. 

Estonian marks the Partitive with a -T-,-D- and therefore it isn’t surprising that you can get a Venetic Partitive by replacing the -T-,-D- ending with -J-, as in talut > taluj (= “talu.i.”). 

While it is possible in this way to arrive at the Venetic Partitive ending from the Estonian one, one cannot do so from the Finnish Partitive. This suggests that both the Estonian and Venetic/Suebic languages had a common parent. Perhaps the Estonian Partitive came first. Then, with strong palatalization, the Venetic/ Suebic Partitive, converted the -T-,-D-, to -J (.i.) 

This and observations of the Inessive as well, give us a family tree of Finnic language descent which agrees with both archeological knowledge and common sense. I have shown it below in a tree diagram. In it I show how we can arrive at the Estonian Partitive and modern Finnish Partitive from an ancient one, and then arrive at the Suebic/Venetic Partitive from highly palatalized speaking of the Estonian-like Finnic that was presumably the first language used among the sea-traders across the northern seas.


Follow the Partitive in the tree chart. We begin with –TA which then loses the T in the descendants going towards Finnish, and loses the A in the descendants going towards Aestic and Suebic (as I call the two ancient dialects of the east and west Baltic Sea). The common  Baltic-Finnic language then on the west side interracts with “Corded-ware” Indo-European speaking farmers, and becomes a little degenerated and spoken with a tight mouth that results in intensified palatalization, rising vowels, and that the –T Partitive is softened to a frontal H or J sound, which is what the Venetic Partitive ending -v.i. means.

This chart also describes how the Estonian and Finnish Illatives must be developments in historic times, as Venetic shows no presence of an explicit Illative (‘into’) but uses the Inessive (‘in’) in a dynamic context to express the Illative idea.  I show above how the Estonian Illative developed out of emphasis on the Inessive, while Finnish derived it from emphasis on the vowel in the Genetive.  See later discussions of the Inessive case in Venetic.

Thus the Venetic Partitive could be interpreted in a static or dynamic way as follows:

 Static interpretation (‘part of’): This is the normal use of the Partitive - where something is part of something larger. It is indefinite and is equivalent to using the indefinite article “a” in English. The static Partitive appears a number of times in the body of Venetic sentences, such as  rako.i.   in    pupone.i.   e.go   rako.i.   e.kupetaris   but because so many of the inscriptions are sending offerings to Rhea or a deceased person to eternity, the following dynamic interpretation tends to dominate. In other words the prevalence of the dynamic partitive interpretation in the body of inscriptions is purely the result of archeology finding mostly funerary inscriptions dealing with sending things to the goddess or eternity and requiring the dynamic interpretation below.

Dynamic interpretation (‘becoming part of, joining with’): Perhaps dynamic interpretation was less in everyday use of Venetic, but very few inscriptions show everyday sentences. If we gave the Partitive a dynamic meaning, it would be ‘becoming part of many’.  The best concept is ‘to join with’ or ‘unite with’. For example giving an offering to the Goddess in re.i.tiia.i   does not mean giving in a give-recieve way, but rather for that offering  is to unite with her, become part of her. It resonates with modern Church expressions of ‘uniting with God’.
Further Discussion:
From an Estonian point of view, one can understand how there can be a dynamic interpretation because of the alternative Partitive and Illative in Estonian , where, using the stem talu, both the  alternative Illative (a dynamic case meaning ‘into’) and alternative Partitive have the same form tal’lu based on lengthening.  This suggests that the language from which this alternative form came must have had a dynamic Partitive interpretation like we see in Venetic, and its usage was so much like a newly created Illative that it was linked to the Illative. In that case the so-called Estonian alternative Illative is not an Illative at all, but a dynamic interpretation of the Partitive. Sometimes the only indication of the alternative Partitive in Estonian is emphasis or length. But this only underscores the fact that explicit dynamic case endings can easily shift their meaning.
One of the sentences discussed in THE VENETIC  LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL was..

 (a) .e..i.k. go.l.tan o.s.dot olo.u. dera.i. kane.i  -  [container -  MLV- 242, LLV- Ca4]

Here we see dera.i. kane.i ‘a whole container’ in the static Partitive interpretation. In Estonian the normal Partitive is to use -T-,-D- instead of the J (.i.) as in Est. tervet kannut but it is also common to say in Estonian terv’e kann’u adding length. Considering that Estonian was converged from various east Baltic dialects, in my opinion this alternative Partitive form in Estonian comes from ancient Suebic (the parent of Venetic) from the significant immigration from the west Baltic to the east during the first centuries AD when there were major refugee movements caused by the Gothic military campaigns up into the Jutland Peninsula and southern Sweden. The Suebic grammatical forms needed to converge with the indigenous Aestic grammatical forms, and so an original tervej kannuj (for example) evolved among these speakers into terv’e kann’u instead of reverting to the indigenous tervet kannut (which would sound unusual to people used to tervej kannuj)

The following sentence below shows the general form used in regards to an offering being made to Rhea.  It shows the most frequent context in which the dynamic interpretation is desired.

(b)  mego dona.s.to vo.l.tiiomno.s. iiuva.n.t.s .a.riiun.s. $a.i.nate.i.  re.i.tiia.i. [bronze sheet MLV- 10 LLV- Es25]
Our brought-item ((ie offering), skyward-going, in the infinite direction, into the airy-realm[?], to (=unite with) you of the Gods, to (=unite with) Rhea

When you think about it, the idea of uniting with or joining with a deity, or eternity, is more involving than merely moving to that location or giving something to it – which is the reason in religion today, it is more satisfying to ‘unite with God’ . In the case of the Venetic context it is the spirit, rising to the clouds via the smoke of burning, that unites with the deity.

2.1.5.   “Iiative” Infix  -ii- ‘extremely (fast or far or large)’ 

As we saw in the example above (b) one of the Partitive endings, the one inside re.i.tiia.i. is preceeded by -ii-  It is possible to regard  the -ii- as a separate infix giving motion, or the entire thing iia.i. as an explicit expression of the dynamic Partitive. It could represent a way by which the speaker emphasized the dynamism. However, the double -ii- appears elsewhere too and the example shows it twice as well. Note the double “I” under the underlined parts:

mego dona.s.to vo.l.tiiomno.s. iiuva.n.t.s .a.riiun.s. $a.i.nate.i. re.i.tiia.i.

While there may have developed some degree of an explicit dynamic Partitive in -iiv.i. the appearance of the double ii in non-Partitive situations, made me decide that this was a more widely applicable infix that added a sense of extremeness and or motion. See our discussions about the infinite as well in the lexicon (ie the meaning of .i.io.s.). In the above .a.riiun.s. the stem is probably .a.riu- and three elements are added:  -ii--n and, -.s. We note that the -ii- occurs also in a similar way vo.l.tiio which describes movement to the heavens overhead, where we see no other ending. Here it seems that the -ii- is intended to exaggerate the size of the realm above. As funny as it may seem, it could have the same psychological basis as when an Estonian says  ‘hiiiiigla suur’ emphasizing the I’s in the word meaning ‘gigaaaaaaantic’. Humans do this extension naturally, and it is certainly possible that such inclinations could be formalized in a language (ie systematically used, rather than purely on whim)

Note that in our determination that the dots were phonetic markers, we determined that Venetic writing was highly phonetic – which means this kind of doubling of the “I” could simply reflect the actual speech, even if the sound in reality had no grammatical significance.

2.1.6.  Inessive Case  -v.s. ‘in; into’  (In dynamic meaning equivalent to Illative)

 Static interpretation (‘in’): In today’s Finnic, the Inessive and Illative cases are considered different, but as we decribed in 2.1.1 above, it seems originally, in the parent language of Finnish, Estonian, ancient Suebic (from which the inscriptions Venetic came) there was only the Inessive, interpreted in both a static and dynamic way.  And then in recent millenia, it became necessary to explicitly distinguish between the two.  But Venetic, remaining an ancient langauge does not show this distinguishing, and for Venetic we determine whether it is the static ‘in’ or dynamic ‘into’ from the context. Was the action simply happening, or was the action being done towards something else? Was something merely ‘being’, or ‘acting on something’? An object that simply was, and did nothing onto anything else, would take the static meaning. I already mentioned how in modern English, we can use  in and the context could suggest it means ‘into’. For example “He went in the water” is technically incorrect, but from the context the listener knows the intent is “He went into the water”. This shows how easily the correct idea is understood from context, and why in early language it wasn’t necessary to have two different case endings. Also, in early language, all speaking was done in the context of things going on around the speakers and listerners. If language became separated from being used in real contexts – such as when it was used in storytelling or song even before written literature – it became more important to explicitly indicate the required meaning.
There was another usage for the static form – as a namer. Many Estonian names of objects end in –s seeming to be a nominalizer. For example we could begin with vee ‘water’ form veene ‘in the nature of water’ and then add the –s to get veenes ‘an object associated with water’. This could very well be the origin of  vene ‘boat’ (same smaller boat which acquired the name rus as well in Scandianvia)

Venetic too appears to have such naming purposes for the static Inessive. Because here, the –s creates a new word, the whole word is now a stem, a nominative form. For example, the word .i.io.s. (see full sentence below) appears to be a word for ‘infinity’ formed from adding the -.s. and therefore we do not interpret it as ‘in the eternal’ but simply ‘eternity’

If an additional Genitive is added, we arrive at a place name.  Modern maps of Estonia and Finland show a historic practice of creating place names by adding either -se which is like the Inessive and Genitive, or –ste which is like Elative plus Genitive, as for example from silla- ‘bridge’, giving town names Sillase or Sillaste. I like to view these respectively as a name based on the sense ‘in the bridge’ versus ‘arising from the bridge’. In other words, the choice depended on what suited the situation. We could take the veenes example above, and adding a Genitive sense with veenese, it becomes a name of a place ‘(place) associated with the boat’
This can be found in some Venetic place names too. In Venetic, the Adige River was called on Roman references Atesis  and the market was called Ateste.   AT- meant ‘terminus’ and therefore we can interpret Atesis  as ‘(The river) in the terminus (of the trade route)’, and Ateste as ‘(The market that )arises at the terminus’.  Another Venetic town was Tergeste, at today’s Triest. This information comes from Roman texts, so we do not know exactly how it was said in Venetic. How did the Roman form change the ending?

Dynamic Interpretation (‘into’ = Illative) But if that object was either entering or leaving that state, it would take the dynamic meaning. We discussed the absence of an explicit Illative in Venetic in 2.1.1  This interpretation is common in the inscriptions,once again perhaps because the abundant cemetary and sanctuary inscriptions speak of the deceased or smoke travelling into the sky.   Note that the difference between ‘to’ in an Inessive situation, in the sense of physical movement ‘into’, whereas ‘to’ in a Partitive situation has a sense of uniting with, which is quite abstract. Thus while English has the all-purpose ‘to’,  in Venetic, that ‘to’ has different meanings depending on the case ending. It makes the English translation a little challenging.  The Inessive case is underlined in the following. Note I interpret it both with ‘in’ and ‘into’ as required:

mego dona.s.to vo.l.tiiomno.s. iiuva.n.t.s .a.riiun.s. $a.i.nate.i. re.i.tiia.i
Our brought-item ((ie offering), skyward-going, in the infinite direction, into the airy-realm[?], to (=unite with) you of the Gods, to (=unite with) Rhea

The following is a good example showing the Inessive in a prominent role, and in this case it is borderline whether the interpretation should be ‘in’ or ‘into’ (hence I translate with in(to)):

lintel text


[MLV- 125, LLV- Vi2; image after LLV]

expanded:.o..s.t..s.   katus.ia   .i.io.s.   dona.s.to  .a.tra.e..s.  te.r.mon.io.s.  de.i.vo.s.
‘Hoping (alt. Out of being)  the offering, would be disappeared, in(to) the eternity end, in(to) the sky-heaven terminus’

There seem to be two parallel word pairs (Finnic requires the same case ending on connected words)   .i.io.s.  .a.tra.e..s.  and  te.r.mon.io.s.    de.i.vo.s.  The two versions seem to be Venetic in the first pair and loanwords from Indo-European in the second. This example shows how the interpretation as ‘in’ or ‘into’ is not particularly crutial.

2.1.7.    Elative  Case  - v.s.t  ‘arising from; out of’ 

I include this next because we have already above discussed how –ste can be used to name something.  It is actually not so common in the body of inscriptions.

Static Interpretation (‘arising from’) This is similar to the Inessive, in that the static form seems to have most often served the role of naming. Today Estonian and Finnish tend to view the Elative case in a dynamic way – something is physically coming out of after being in something. Thus as the table of case endings (Table 2 at the end of these case ending discussions) shows, it is the static form that is less known and less used today, which logically comes from the idea of something being derived from or arising from something else. This static form is the one that names things. As mentioned under the Inessive, where the static form also names things, a town with a bridge silla- could acquire a name two ways – with the static Inessive as a description Sillase, and with the static Elative with Sillaste.   Just as we referred to Atesis for our example with the Inessive, there was also the town, Ateste  at the end of the amber route. In this case the meaning is ‘derived from, arising from, the terminus (of the trade route)’. Another major Venetic city was Tergeste, which suggests ‘arising from the market (terg)’ Interestingly the market at the top of the amber route, in historic times called Truso was probably in Roman times called Turuse (or Turgese or Tergese) in that case using the static Inessive manner of naming.) Of course, as mentioned under the Inessive, it was not just used for place names, but to derive a name for something related to something else. I gave the example earlier of   vee > veene > veenes which could refer to a boat and eventually reduce to vene. We could also have veenest  but it would name something arising from water (like maybe a fishing net?) The difference between naming with –s(e) and naming with –st(e) is whether the item named is integrated with the stem item, or arising out of the stem item and separate from it.

In the Venetic sentences, there are nouns that were originally developed from this static Elative ending. For example .e.g.e.s.t-  is one. .e.g.e.s.t- could be interpreted as ‘something arising from the continuing’ = ‘forever’. The common dona.s.to could be interpreted as ‘something arising from bringing (do- or Est./Finn too/tuo)’ Another is la.g.s.to  which I interpreted as ‘gift’ but internally means ‘something arising from kindness’. (The reader should review my interpretations of the –ST words in the lexicon from this perspective – the stem word plus the concept of ‘arising from’.)

Dynamic Interpretation (‘out of’)   This is the common modern usage in Estonian and Finnish and this is the meaning we will find in their grammar describing case endings. The dynamic interpretation of the  Elative in the body of Venetic inscriptions depends on our determining there is movement involved. The static meaning ‘arising from’ is abstract and there is no movementm but the dynamic meaning ‘(moving) out of’ involves movement.  Perhaps the .o.s.t..s. in the recent example sentence in the last section is one, as movement occurs in that sentence.

In general the Elative is less common in the known inscriptions because the concept of something travelling ‘out of’ or even ‘arsising from’ something else was not particularly applicable to offerings towards the heavens or the Goddess whenin things are going ‘into’ not ‘out of’. 

Most often, whenever the -.s.t appears in Venetic, it appears to be the static kind where there is no movement, and it produces a new noun stem from the  more basic stem.

2.1.8.    Genitive  Case –n  OR  [naked stem] ‘of, possessed by’

Static Interpretation (‘of’) vs Dynamic Interpretation (‘coming into possession of’)

Estonian today lacks the –n Genitive which is standard in Finnish. Estonian simply uses the naked stem. For that reason (considering also the tree chart of Fig 2.1.3) we must investigate the inscriptions to determine if Venetic had an –n Geneitive, a naked stem, or both.

What I found in the Venetic sentences was that the idea of possession seems often to be expressed by what seems to be the compound word form.  In a compound word, the first part is the stem and takes no endings, while the second part takes the endings. But given that in modern Estonian the Genitive is purely the naked stem, these first parts of compound words are indistinguishable from Genitives.  For example Venetic kluta-viko-.s. is a compound word, the first part interpreted from context as ‘clutch’ (of flowers) and the second as ‘the bringing’. But the first element, kluta, could very well be seen to be in the Genitive. It may be exactly such overuse of compounding, that developed the use of the naked stem as Genitive in Estonian, with the consequential abandoning of the –n at the end, while it endured in Finnish which derives from the earlier ancestor language.

Nonetheless, the –n does appear a number of times in a way that makes it seem to be joining concepts. For example in iiuvant  v.i.ve.s.tin  iio.i.  -   [MLV -138, LLV-Pa8 ]   we see the –n appearing in a way that makes it seem Genitive (v.i.ve.s.tin iio.i. seems like ‘the conveyance’s infinity’). The same occurs in pilpote.i. k up. rikon .io.i. - [MLV-139, LLV-Pa9;] in which  rikon .io.i. seems like ‘nation’s infinity’.

We also see the –n appearing  in the example mego dona.s.to vo.l.tiiomno.s. iiuva.n.t.s .a.riiun.s. $a.i.nate.i. re.i.tiia.i. Other examples include kara.n.mnio.i and voltiio.n.mnio.i. 
To summarize it seems more common to find in Venetic the bare stem in a situation that looked like a compound word. It is possible that while the n-Genitive was still in use in the inscriptions; however, the use of the bare stem in a fashion almost like a Genitive was also in use. The disappeance of the n-Genitive in Estonian may have occured in this way, that is to say, from the latter becoming more and more common.  My conclusion is that Venetic had the –n Genetive, but lazy speakers dropped it. (Linguistic change often arises from lazy speech where endings are dropped.)

2.1.9.   Essive  -na  ‘as, in the form of’; ‘becoming as.’

This ending is almost as common in the body of inscriptions as the Partitive and Inessive. We will assume for the sake of argument that this case ending too had both a static interpretation and a dynamic one, depending on context. I propose this was the case for all the Venetic case endings; but some case endings were more dramatic in the difference between the static interpretation versus dynamic - for example case endings about location. Here were are speaking of form, appearance and the differentiation between static and dynamic meanings is not significant in this case as it is a more abstract concept, and abstract concepts are quite static by nature compared to concepts involving actual physical movement or lack of movement.

Static Essive: In the static interpretation this ending has the meaning ‘as, in the form of, in the guise of’  For example it appears in $a.i.nate.i. where $a.i.na is seen as ‘in the form of the gods’  It appears more commonly in the inscriptions with an additional Partitive attached, giving -na.i  This added Partitive usually results in a very dynamic meaning, which appears to be like Estonian Terminative ‘till....’ 

Dynamic Essive: I do not know if there is a clear example of this in our body of inscriptions, except for the situation in which an additional .i. is attached as mentioned above – as in -na.i. The dynamic interpretation would mean ‘assuming the form of’  It would need to have a verb behind it, such as ‘he changed into....’  It is purely a question of whether there is a motion towards. In any event, I believe the speaker or listener understood what was intended from the context

2.1.10.   Terminative -na.i. -ne.i. ‘up to, until, as far as’

This ending appears often. It looks like a Partitive ending added to an Essive ending  and originally my interpretations tried to combine the Essive meaning with Partitive and got confusing complex results like ‘in the form of joining with’ and then one day I hit on the simpler idea of the Terminative – ‘up to, until, as far as’ – which exists in Estonian but not Finnish. Already we have evidence that Estonian and Venetic/Suebic were related through a common parental language, and so something found in Estonian could be represented in Venetic, even if not represented in Finnish.(We have already seen for example, that we cannot tranform a Finnish Partitive to Venetic, while we can transform an Estonian Partitive to Venetic by changing the –T,D  ending to –J (.i.))

Without much rational justification I applied the Terminative meaning everywhere it occurred and it fit better than my complicated combining of Essive and Partitive concepts.

This case ending might also have static and dynamic interpretations. If so, I would say that  the static interpretation is as in pupone.i. – something (the duck rako) is physically  given to, in the example  pupone.i  .e.go  rako.i.  e.kupetaris  To(‘til) the elder remain a duck, Bon Voyage. This static intepretation seems very much like a Dative.

Meanwhile the dynamic interpretation would be to physically travel until somewhere which is how Estonian uses the Terminative. The Estonian Terminative can be seen in Ta läks taluni ‘he went as far as the farm’

In Venetic, for example in a funerary urn inscription v.i.ugia.i.  mu.s.ki   a.l.na.i.to convey my dear (?) until down below’ the word a.l.na.i. appears to be  in a context with physical movement. (Hmm. Perhaps the static form is –ne.i. and the dynamic form is na.i. ?? There remains a question as to the signifance of using e instead of a. )

2.1.11.  Adessive  -l ‘at (location of)’&  Allative  -le.i. ‘towards (location of)’

The Adessive  in the meaning ‘at (location of)’ represents the static interpretation. In this case it seems Venetic does have an explicit dynamic form which parallels what is in relation to Estonian and Finnish called the Allative ‘towards (location of)’.
One may ask, why does Venetic have the explicit Allative, when it did not have the explicit Illative?  To understand what Venetic is expected to have and what not, we can look at what is common in Estonian and Finnish. If a case ending exists in both Estonian and Finnish in a similar way then it is very old, and must exist in Venetic. Our tree chart of Fig 2.1.3 showed the descent of Inessive, Partitive and Illative. If we were to add Adessive and Allative, we would show both existing at the common ancestor of all three languages – Estonian, Venetic/Suebic, and Finnish. These two separate forms could have developed in an early stage of Finnic perhaps because in the lives of early hunters of northern Europe, it was important to distinguish with being at a location versus going towards a location. Too important to clarify via context.

In Estonian Adessive is reperesented by -l, Finnish by –lla which is essentially the same (Est. has lost terminal a’s on case endings). And the Allative, which is equivalent to a dynamic interpretation of the Adessive, is found both in Estonian and Finnish as –le and –lle respectively.

Unfortunately in the body of inscriptions available to study, the Venetic Adessive and Allative occur only a couple of times, so we do not have many examples. The most significant sentence is the following. It is written on one of the Padova round stones left at the bottom of tombs, and on which most of them are telling the deceased spirit to fly up out of the tomb. The first underlined ending I think is the Allative and the second is Adessive.

(a) tivale.i.  be.l.  lene.i.  - [round stones- LLV Pa 26]

towards wing, on(at) top of, to fly!  (Est. tiivale peal lendama!)(=tiiva peale lendama!)

I propose that the ending -le.i. on tivale.i. is an Allative  (‘to location of’)  while the -.l. on be.l. is the Adessive (‘at’). Note that the stem of tivale.i. is tiva, and its meaning  is confirmed by the handle-with-hook that has kalo-tiba on it (=Est. ‘kallu tiib’ ‘wing for pouring’ ) The latter is in the Lagole dialect.

Here is another example with tiva in the inscription and here it appears with the Adessive ending (-l) to which is added an iio.i. which seems to mean ‘to infinity’)

(b) vhug-iio.i.  tival-iio.i.   a.n.tet-iio.i.  eku  .e.kupetari.s  .e.go   -   [figure 8 design with text -  image of Pa26]
    ‘Carry infinitely, upon wing to infinity, the givings to infinity, so-be-it happy journey, let it remain’

We can  interpret tivaliio.i. as  tiva + l + iio.i.

2.1.12. Ablative -.l.t  ‘out of (location of)’

 The Ablative  also exists in both Estonian and Finnish in a similar way and therefore must exist in Venetic from its origins in the northern Suebic.

The Ablative (-.l.t) to Adessive (-l)and Allative (-le.i.), is similar to the Elative (-.s.t) in relation to the Inessive/Illative (-.s.). The difference is that one deals with physical location, while the other (-.s.t)  deals with interiors.

Static Interpretation of the Ablative  (‘derived from location of”)    Similarly to the Elative (.s.t) the Ablative (-.l.t) probably was mostly used to create nouns, to name things, but in this case related to a location - on top of it, not inside it.

An example in Venetic is the word vo.l.tiio   Could it have originated with AVA ‘open space’? AVALT would then mean ‘derived from the location of the open space’  This seems to accord with the apparent meaning of vo.l.tiio as ‘sky, heavens’. But like -.s.t in dona.s.to, it is not a free case ending, but now incorporated in the word.

Dynamic Interpretation of the Ablative (‘from the location of’) This is the common usage in modern Estonian and Finnish – to physically move away from a location.  Ta läks talult eemale ‘he went away from the farm’ Do any of the inscriptions indicate movement from one location to another? We can presume Venetic/Suebic had it, but we have not yet identified common use in the dynamic meaning in the body of inscriptions, as opposed to the form being integated into a word stem, discussed above.
But then the body of usable Venetic sentences is very small and examples of less common case endings will be few if any. It is obvious that if the number of sentences we can study is limited, we will tend to see the most commonly used case endings.

2.1.13.   Other Possible Case Endings, Suffixes Suggested from Estonian Derivational Suffixes

The above listing of Venetic case endings has compared Venetic case endings to Estonian/Finnish as summarized in 2.1.2.  This comparison is absolutely necessary because linguisics has found that grammar changes very slowly and that if Venetic is really Finnic, then what we found in the interpreting of Venetic from first principle, MUST show significant similarities to modern Finnic languages that were at the top of the amber routes to the Adriatic Veneti. Even though Estonian and Finnish is over 2000 years in the future or Venetic, the similarities must be demonstrable.  But this idea of grammar having longevity is really part of the basic idea that commonly used language tends to endure.  The common everyday language tends to endure because it is in constant use. That means not only is basic grammar preserved from generation to generation, but also everyday words. Linguists have always known that some words – words relating to family relationships, for example – have great longevity. I have pointed out how the Venetic word .e.go and stem .e.  is practically identical to Estonian jäägu and stem jää-  and how this is understandable considering that even today the jää- stem is used all day. On the other hand, the Venetic word rako for ‘duck’ has no survival in Estonian or Finnish ‘duck’ is part and anka respectively. But how often is the word ‘duck’ used. Unless you keep a flock of ducks, only a few times a year.  When a concept is rarely mentioned, alternative words can be used, at the whim of the speakers.. For example ‘duck’ could be expressed by a word meaning ‘water-bird’ or ‘wide-bill’. (Venetic rako sounds like it came from the quacking sound, and Finnish anka, sounds like it actually originated with geese that go “honk!” The origin of the Estonian part is a mystery) So unless one word is used often the word lacks stability. But the same applies to grammar. The most common grammar – the grammar taught to babies – has greatest longevity. Thus we will find similarities to the most common grammatical features, and less so in rarely used grammatical features.

The point is that longevity is proportional to usage, and therefore if someone compares a modern language with an ancient genetically related one, the correctness is more probable if the comparison is with very common words or grammar, and it helps if you learned the modern language as a child, as then you will have an intuition about the core language. Such wisdom is not available for those analysts who simply look up words in a dictionary, because in a dictionary a very rarely used word can be beside a commonly used one. There is no filter.

Although in this description of Venetic grammar follows the modern model for describing Estonian and Finnish, there can be other ways of constructing the descriptive model. As I have already mentioned, in reality in Finnic, the concept of case endings is artitificial – selecting the most common of a large spectrum of endings. The original primitive language might have been very much like modern Inuit of arctic North America. Linguists have not  handled Inuktitut according to common ways of describing grammar, and they called it ‘polysynthetic’ (a system where the speaker simply combines short stems with many suffixes, infixes, and prefixes).

The modern manner of describing Estonian and Finnish, is really a selection by linguists developing a description, of the most common, most universally used, suffixes. But there are more. What they chose was to a large degree influenced by how grammar had been described in the most common Indo-European languages. This means that there are other suffixes that could have been included with the stated “case endings”. But these further suffixes are in modern Estonian and Finnish, generally not identified in the grammar but rather incorporated into the common word stems in which they appear and so the suffix portions are not identified.

 There are many such suffixes that are common enough that a creative speaker could combine them and in effect revive some amount of the original polysynthetic approach of speaking.

Many words with the suffixes built into them, are so common and so old, that speakers of Estonian or Finnish no longer think of how they were derived. For example the word kond, ‘community’ is one an Estonian would not even think about in terms of its internal components. But when you think of it, it is in fact a combination of KO plus the suffix –ND, and the intrinsic meaning is ‘together’ + ‘something defined from’.  Thus what we have is not only recognizable suffixes including “case endings”, but suffixes that have frozen onto the stem and assumed a quite particular meaning. In Venetic there some we have mentioned where the endings are incorporated into a new word stem (.e.ge.s.t, vo.l.tiio, etc, etc )  With Venetic too, there is a constant issue as to whether an apparent case ending is stuck onto a stem, or whether a new word has been established, which of course can add case endings itself.

I believe that in the evolution of language, the polysynthetic constructions that were constantly used, became solidified from constant use. And then with people using it often, from laziness, it becomes contracted. Once contracted, the original construction is no longer apparent. Starting with mere tens of basic syllabic elements, evertually we end up with thousands of new stems that cannot be taken apart.   

The longer the language has followed this experience, the more new word stems arise, and the grammatical elements become fewer and fewer.

If we wish to use modern Estonian or Finnish to detect further case endings in Venetic, we can reverse the evolution of Estonian or Finnish by noting still-detectable suffixes within words, and then see if Venetic has repeated use of one of them.

So what  kinds of suffixes are still apparent in modern Estonian or Finnish that are still identifiable as suffixes and not disappeared into new words stems? Today these suffixes are called ‘Derivational Suffixes’. Poets are free to create new words with them, but they are not recognized as case endings as they are not in regular use. But as we go back in time, it is likely some of them were more commonly applied and if linguists had described Estonian or Finnish a fewe thousand years ago, they would have claimed more case ending. (The Finno-Ugric language of Hungarian is an example of a language in an older state, and so linguists have claimed many more case endings.)
There are about 50 suffixes enumerated in A Grammatical Survey of the Estonian Language by Johannes Aavik, most readily found within Estonian-English Dictionary  complied by Paul F. Saagpakk,  1982. It was and is important for us to be aware of these suffixes when looking at Venetic, to find resonances, since the ‘case endings’ definitions arbitrarily selected by linguists, may have excluded important suffixes that appear in Venetic.  For example, the ending –nd seems to be common enough in Venetic that maybe we ought to put it into the case endings list.

However, what we have done here, is to use the well-established descriptions of Estonian and Finnish as our template. Those who are familiar with Estonian or Finnish can then process the Venetic grammar more easily. Still it is possible that since Venetic is over 2000 years old, it may contain more of the free-combinations of suffixes, infixes, and prefixes. That is the reason in our analysis of the Venetic inscriptions documented in THE VENETIC  LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL*, we were keen to look inside word structure to help determine meanings. For example v.i.ougonta  seems like  ‘carry’ + ‘community, grouping’, and we have to determine what it really meant from the context in which it was used. But if there was no kond in Estonian, we could still break gonta down further with ‘grouping’ from  KO ‘together’ and ND ‘entity connected to’.

For our purposes in deciphering Venetic, there was nothing to be gained by looking at more than a few Estonian derivational suffixes in the list given by Aavik – those that we found worthy of consideration in our analysis of the Venetic. They also allow us to look at the internal makeup of a word, to determine in a general or abstract sense how the word originated, to assist in narrowing down its meaning.

The following is a limited list of the Estonian derivational suffixes that I considered in analyzing the Venetic. Some were very significant.-

-ma  (= Venetic –ma ?)  Estonian 1st infinitive, is believed to have originated in Estonian as a verbal noun in the Illative. Something of this nature seems to be found in Venetic such as in v.i.rema. I believe it meant something like ‘in the state of v.i.re

-m    (=Venetic –m?)   where this appears in Estonian words it appears to have a reflective sense. It is psychological.  It is a nominalizer too that may also produce the idea of ‘state of’ as in –ma above. Possibly it appears in the donom of Lagole inscriptions  which obviously from how it is used means ‘something brought’, and a synonym for dona.s.to 

-ja    suffix of agency, equivalent to English ending –er as in buyer.  I did not find anything solid in Venetic in this regard, perhaps because Venetic is likely to write it  -.i.i  and how would one distinguish it from all the other uses of “I” within Venetic! I believe that Venetic turned in another direction to express the idea of agency – o.r. see next. Estonian has it in the derivational suffix –ur so it is not entirely foreign. The way languages from the same origins evolve is that there may be two words or endings that mean the same, and one branch popularizes one and the other branch popularizes the other.  Thus we can conclude that  -ja maight have been found in Venetic, but that –o.r. was preferred.  Nonetheless, the ending –ur is still recognized within Estonian.

-ur  (= Venetic -o.r. ) indicating a person or thing which has a permanent activity or profession, equivalent to English –or as in surveyor. Would appear in Venetic as –or  . I found this one very useful as it perfectly explained a word like lemetorna associated with a stylus left as an offering ‘as a producer of warm-feelings’ – ie the object continues to be an expression from the giver after it is left behind. An example:

v.i.o.u.go.n.ta  lemeto.r.na  .e.b.- [stylus- MLV-38bis, LLV-ES-58]
‘The collection-of-bringings,  as ingratiation-producers, remains’

Note how lemeto.r.na is composed of plural plus two suffixes leme - t - o.r. - na 

Another simple example  is a fibula (used to pin togas together) with the word augar on the back. This was appropriate if aug- was ‘hole’ (as in Est. auk) thus giving the Venetic word for a fibula as literally ‘hole-producer’ (= ‘pin’)   This word survive elsewhere too as we can even find it surviving in English auger.

-nd  (=Venetic -nd,-nt )  attached to nouns, verbs, and participles to form derived nouns with meanings related to the stems of words. In my view the best interpretation for this is ‘entity made from’ or ‘entity, something, defined from’ and similar. The use of –ND, NT is apparent in Venetic and seems widely used in ancient pre-Indo-European substratum of Europe (as the Atlantis example suggests ) For example it appears in va.n.t.s. in the sentence mego  va.n.t.s  .e.ge.s.t.s  dona.s.to re.i.tia.i  ‘Our  bringing , in the direction of the everlasting,  to Rhea  But as mentioned above, this ending was now incorporated into the word. But let us take va.n.t.s. appart. Then we get  (A)VA (‘open up’) NT (‘entity of’) S ( ‘in, into’)  giving us ‘entity in the direction of the opening’  But this is very abstract, and obviously its final meaning developed from usage. As I say above with gonta, the suffixes, from contant use, disappear into the the brand new meaning.-

-kond (konna-) (=Venetic –go.n.ta )     ‘a group of  things or persons related to a certain place or area’.  This is an important component in the Venetic inscriptions. It appears in Venetic often as  v.i.ougo.n.ta, but also elsewhere too.

-us   (Venetic –o.s.  (?) k.o.s. (?)) a suffix that may have ancient Roman influence behind it. This probably would not appear until Roman times. It may be represented inside the –ko.s. in Lagole inscriptions which already have Latin elements mixed in. Estonian certainly acquired it as a result of the Roman influences.

- ik  (Venetic - ?) is a suffix that has Partitive properties in that the K sound suggests breaking off something from a whole.  I did not identify an example in the inscriptions other than the fact that the conjunction ke employs the psychology of breaking off.  Possibly it occurs and I failed to see it. 

-la – (Venetic –LA) place or residence.  I saw it in one place, the ending on ‘Crete’ in the Roman period urn inscription –

 CRETEILA - M - ENNIO - GRAICI - F - [urn- MLV-120-02, LLV-Es II]

-la would have served the same function as the Roman use of -ia at the ends of place names, as in “Venetia”  Perhaps it is rare in Venetic because Venetic had replaced it with –ia

As I said, Aavik presents about 50 ‘derivational suffixes’ in Estonian, bound into words and not used as frequently as the formally set aside ‘case endings’. Since Venetic is 2000 years old and closer to the common ancestor of Estonian and Venetic, it is more likely that Estonian has LOST some forms that Venetic had . For example, we noted earlier how an original wider use of endings on (A)VA had Venetic creating va.n.t  which has vanished if it was in the common ancestor, and somehow Estonian has only preserved va-stu.  We can also propose that Estonian lost  the use of bo- in a wider fashion and it only survives today as poo-l  'half, to the side of'  (in effect POO in the Adessive case).
In Venetic we find bo-, along with va.n.t- used as a preposition, but Venetic also appears to use -bo- as an ending (example in SSELBOI, SSELBOI) and I have included it in Table 2

Table 2 – Venetic Case Endings Compared to Est. and Finn.

Same or close to stem. (see section 2.1.3)
-v.i. Partitive
‘part of’  
  -t / -a 
‘becoming part of’ ‘uniting with’ 
  -t /-a
(dynamic meaning rare)
-iiv.i. Explicit Dynamic Partitive? 
  ‘becoming part of’‘ ‘uniting with’
-.s.  Inessive 
‘in’ -as used to describe or name 
  -s  / -ssa 
‘becoming in  = into’
"Illative" case
–sse / –v v n
-.s.t   Elative 
‘derived out of’  - used to describe or name
-st /-sta
(static meaning ‘derived from’))
‘out of, exit from’
-st / -sta
--n or [stem]  Genitive
-[stem] / -n 
  ' becoming in possession of''
Illative  -v v n
-na Essive 
-na / -na 
‘becoming of, like,as’
-na / -na  (dynamic meaning  rare)
-na.i  Essive + Partitive
 'like, as'' in Partitive sense
suffix -ne (?) 
   ‘till, up to’  (or similar) 
   Est. "Terminative" -ni
-ne.i Terminative
Like a Dative?  
‘till, up to’ 
Estonian  "Terminative"
-  Adessive
‘at location of’
  -l / -lla
‘to location of’ use Allative 
‘to location of’
= use Allative
-le.i  Allative
Use Adessive
Use Adessive
‘to  location of’
-le / -lle
-.l.t  Ablative
'arising from location of' 
-lt / -lta
(as a nominalizer)
‘from location of’
-lt /-lta
-ii-  "Iiative"
'extremely large, infinite'
'extremely fast'
-bo-   “Bolative”
  'on side of' 
remnant in Est. word pool 'at side of' but not used as a suffix any longer
'to side of''
  remnant in Est. word poole 'towards side of' but not used as a suffix any longer



2.2.1. Postpositions and Prepositions


Postpositions in Estonian and Finnish can be viewed as the true attached-element in the ancient tradition. Technically there is nothing to distinguish between a postposition and a case ending or a suffix other than that a space is placed between them and stem in the modern convention, and that they are generally more than one syllable.

Thus, postpositions are in fact descendants of the ancestral manner of attaching descriptive elements to the stem. For example in Estonian tee kaudu ‘by way of the road’, kaudu , considered a postposition. But this postposition could be easily viewed as a case ending if used often enough. Frequent use would also cause its abbreviation. For example tee kaudu  could become for example “teekau” which would mean‘by way of the road’  This is an artificial example. A real example would be the Estonian postposition kaasa which is a suffix/postposition that developed in Estonian into the Comitative case -ga  In Finnish no such Comitative case has developed, and one can only use the postposition (in this case the Finnish version is kanssa) as in talon kanssa  ‘with the house’ (Genitive plus postposition ). The Estonian equivalent using the Comitative case would be taluga ‘with the farm’ (Note Estonian talu actually means ‘farm’ but it is from the same origins as the Finnish talo ‘house’)  Estonian nonetheless also preserves kaasa for emphasis only - taluga kaasa. There are other words in Estonian that seem like ancestors of case endings, which are still preserved for emphasis. For example  talus (Inessive) = talu sees. .

  There are many many postpositions in both Estonian and Finnish, demonstrating that the ancient tradition of attached modifiers in a polysynthetic system  is still active.  A few of the modern Estonian postpositions plus Finnish equivalents are given below (giving the Estonian first and Finnish second). Some function as prepositions too. Whether it comes before or after is a subtle matter. If before, the word modified takes the Partitive, if after, the word modified is in the Genitive. In the following examples, the first version before slash (/) is Estonian, the second Finnish.

alla/alla  - below
edasi/edessä  - forward
järel/jälkeen - following
kaasa/kansa - with
kauda/kautta - by way of
keskel/keskellä -in the middle of
lähel/lähellä - close to
läbi/läpi - through
pääle/päälä- on top of
taga/takana - behind
ümber/ympärilla – around
vastu/vasten - against
pitki/pitkin – along
 and more

In addition modern Estonian has many more that modern Finnish does not have, and vice versa.


bo-   The grammatical element -bo- appears in Venetic in several ways.  We have already noted several instances in which it is a suffix or second part of a compound word. For example  .o.p  iorobo.s. ; vise ioboSSELBOI SSELBOI;  .... But in the following it looks like a preposition or an independent word.
 mego  lemetore.i.  v.i.ratere.i.  dona.s.to  bo.i.  iio.s.  vo.l.tiio.m.mno.i 

It  suggests it is a stand-alone word too, acting as a preposition or postposition to another word.  This usage is similar to that of va.n.t- (below)  Possibly the case endings on it should be the same as the word it introduces.  Estonian has an analogous word in poole, as in talu poole ‘in the direction of the farm’ which makes it a postposition. It resembles Venetic bo- if it were in the Allative. Earlier we saw Venetic Allative marked with –le.i.; so the Allative of bo- would be “bole.i.”.

va.n.t-  This word does not have a suffix version, and seems to behave like a typical postposition/preposition. It looks analogous to Estonian vastu ‘against’, except the –st ending, gives it a negative meaning, while va.n.t- conveys a positive concept. There are several examples of its use as a postposition or preposition. For example in 

va.n.te.i   v.i.o.u.go.n.tio.i.  .e.go  [urn – MLV-80, LLV-Es79]
Let remain, towards the collection of ( cremation -urns?)

 Here  va.n.te.i. in Partitive, appears to modify v.i.o.u.go.n.tio.i. also in the Partitive.
Another example of many is  mego dona.s.to va.n.t.s. mo.l.don  ke  .o. kara.n.mn.s.  re.i.tiia.i. 'Our (my) bringing (=offering),  into the direction of ash/earth, also is Carnic-mountains-going, to (=unite with) Rhea

iiuva.n.t-  This word simply adds a prefix iiu- meaning ‘eternally’ to va.n.t

.o.p  is obviously a preposition as it appears in .o.p vo.l.tiio lenoup skyward fly’ in several inscriptions in this form and in one of the round stone inscriptions written up.
There are no doubt other prepositions or postpositions which I have not detected as such, due to limited numbers of examples. I recall something of the form $a.i.  which might be similar to Est sisse ‘into’. Thus it is possible with more analysis we might be able to add a few more prepositions or postpositions into our list above.


When most of the descriptive modifiers of a word are expressed in case endings or suffixes, an independent adjective out front, like in English, is expectedly rare in Finnic, and in early Finnic like Venetic perhaps non-existent.   The separate adjective, placed in front, I believe is a new development in modern Finnic languages as a result of influences from I-E languages. Putting an adjective to the front is actually cumbersome in today’s Finnic in that it requires the speaker repeat the case ending of the noun on the adjective in order to connect the two. In analyzing Venetic, I very carefully looked for parallelism in case endings, because that could mean that the first one modified the second. The prepositions of va.n.t- and bo- take case endings as they precede another word they seem to modify. Thus the ancient preposition could therefore be the predecessor of the adjective. Otherwise what we see mostly are compounded words - where stem word without an ending assuming the first part of a compound word where the second part took the case ending. For example v.i.ou-gonta except that the second part can be viewed as an extended case ending. This is true of  -gonta, and also the –iio.s. frequently added to stems.

When both words have the same case ending, does that represent the beginnings of adjectives? All that would be necessary is for the lesser of two connected ideas to lose its case endings.
A sentence that presented such problems is the following:
 .o..s.t..s.  katus.ia .i.io.s. dona.s.to .a.tra.e..s. te.r.mon.io.s. de.i.vo.s  [MLV- 125, LLV- Vi2]

Discussed earlier in section 2.1.4, it offers two pairs of words in the Inessive case -  .i.io.s. .a.tra.e..s.   and  te.r.mon.io.s. de.i.vo.s  It isn’t necessary to assume there are any adjectives here. It can simply be the same grammatical structure repeated.   In other words, these words could mean ‘into infinity, into the end, into the terminus, into the sky’. The same is true of the frequent address $a.i.nate.i. re.i.tiia.i  where $a.i.nate.i. can be regarded as its own word, in parallel with re.i.tiia.i. and not an adjective.

I am inclined to think that Venetic, frozen over 2000 years ago, might not really have any true independent adjectives, and the closest form to look like an independent adjective would be the prepositions described in the last section.  That is to say, instead of in the large farm one says in the large-farm, or in Estonian  suures talus  versus suur-talus where creating the compound word excuses one from putting the case ending –s on both. Venetic, in other words is strong in the latter, and made even more complicated because as we saw above, Venetic Genitive too was like Estonian using a bare stem (without endings). Thus the first part of a compound word might be a Genetive expressing possession of the second.

In conclusion – for Venetic we do not need to identify ‘adjectives’. The purpose of adjectives is achieved via compound words,  repeated words, and an array of case endings and suffixes.


    Insofar as the Estonian and Finnish comparative forms are similar, we can expect Venetic would have them. But are any detectable in the small body of Venetic inscriptions?

 Generally in Estonian and Finnish, the comparative is shown by adding -em to the adjective, and superlative by adding -im to the adjective. The comparison levels clearly seem to be marked by vowel level - the higher the vowel level before the m, the more extreme.    I don't recall any Venetic ending in an -m to indicate a comparison of state, except there is v.i.rema  Then its meaning could be  ‘the more vital, energetic’  But if we consider there to be a suffix ma analogous to the Estonian –ma suffix (see earlier in section 2.1.12) we interpret it in a slightly other way.  The matter of whether there is a comparative anywhere remains unresolved. There just aren’t enough Venetic examples to clarify this matter.

Note: All discoveries made have been according to direct interpretation of inscriptions from context analysis and internal comparisons. Linguistic methodologies are impossible where a language is unknown and the amount of language is limited.  Therefore these ideas are not deduced by any rigorous rationalization method, but inferred from accumulated evidence.


2.3.1. Personal Pronouns
      The limited number of Venetic sentences presents us with only two examples of pronouns  mego and te.i. which we interpret as first and second person plural, possibly used in a formal singular way. The pronoun mego we assumed was in the Genitive and  te.i.  in the (dynamic) Partitive. Accordingly, without having direct evidence we can at least infer that  the Partitive of the first person plural was me.i. while the Genitive of the other was tego   It is possible to further guess other case forms, but only the underlined actually appear in the body of inscriptions.

1st pers pl (‘we’)
2nd pers pl   (‘you’)




 By comparison the Estonian Nominative, Genitive and Paritive 1st and 2nd person plurals are meie, meie, meid   and teie, teie, teid. However, Livonian, to the south of Estonian, and related to it, but also highly palatalized like Venetic the  1st and 2nd person plural nominatives are meg and teg – which shows that a linguistic shift to mego and tego is possible under strong palatalization.

2.3.2. Possessive Pronoun Suffixes
  Finnish adds pronoun suffixes to stems, to indicate possession.   This is very ancient as the adding of suffixes was quite standard at the origins of Finnic languages.

Finnish Pronoun Suffixes

 -si    -nsa   -mme   -nne

Finnish today will add pronouns to the front as well sometimes, thus creating some redundancy (for example minun taloni)  This relates to the concept of emphasis - modifiers migrated to the front I believe for emphasis.    But note that once there was this redundance, it was possible to drop one of the two. And that is what happened with Estonian and Venetic, already occuring at the parental language.

 I feel I did detect some possessive pronoun suffixes in Venetic. An example of a regular pronoun is mego ‘our’ in   mego dona.s.to   which I interpreted as 'our brought-thing'   The possessive pronoun approach seems to appear in


ENONI, which no matter how I analysed the sentence, seems to be  'my thirst'   affirmed by resonance with Est, jäänu  'thirst'   So far, I have only noticed the personal pronoun suffix for ‘my’ –ni, which I assumed is equivalent to the Finnish suffix –ni  We also see it I believe in the Roman alphabet urn inscriptions in the term of endearment TITINI, which from the context very likely means ‘my Titi’. I believe, therefore, Venetic still employed pronoun suffixes and that Estonian has lost them in the last 2000 years. Unfortuately, owing to the limited number of inscriptions, we didn’t identify further examples. (Perhaps there may be some TI endings and I misintepreted them. The reader is invited to look for this possibility in the interpretations.)

2.4  VERBS

2.4.1. General

Verbs are hard to distinguish from nouns. Sometimes endings on verbs mimic those on nouns. I suspect that early language did not distinguish between nouns and verbs, and, like the matter of static or dynamic case endings, the nominal vs verbal quality was determined from the context in which it was used . We have to bear in mind that original language was always spoken, so that whether a concept was verbal or nominal could simply depend on how forcefully it was spoken, and where the length and stress was placed. It seems to me that people developed the knowledge of what was normally to be taken as a verbal stem and what was to be taken as a nominal stem simply from experience with the language. But that is how it is today in English, for example. We learn from use, what stems are verb stems and what are noun stems from context and usage.  Furthermore some words can be taken either way, such as the English word run. Determining whether a Venetic word was to be interpreted as a verb or noun was sometimes easy, sometimes difficult. I wondered if the word dona.s.to was verbal, and to prove it was not, I had to find a verb in the same sentence. You cannot have two verbs. Since I always found a verb idea in the sentences with dona.s.to   I concluded it was a noun in the meaning of ‘brought-thing’ (English has no better word, and the closest is ‘offering’) However doto was verbal.

Finnic languages today  have many supposed verb forms, that can take case endings and instantly they become nominal. Here are some examples taken from the stem jooks – ‘run’
jookse - ‘run’   (verb - imperative)
jooksma - ‘to run’ (infinitive)
(infinitive  takes endings for example:)
jooksmas- ‘in run’ (infinitive plus Inessive case ending)
jooksmal - ‘at running’ (infinitive plus Adessive case ending)
jooksmana - ‘in the form of running’ (infinitive plus Essive case ending)
jooksmast - ‘arising from running’ (infinitive plus Elative case ending)
And then there are other verbal forms too that take case endings and suffixes. For example the t-infinitive -  but
jooksda - ‘to  run’
jooksdes - ‘ running’  (But wait, that forms the active present gerund!)
jooksdest - ‘out of running’ ( That now looks like an Elative attached to the gerund)
etc etc etc

And then there are ways of making a complex noun back into a verb, or a complex verb back into a noun.

My opinion is that originally word stems were neither nouns nor verbs, but the way they were used made them verbal or nominal. It would be analogous to usage for example of the English word run. The same word is both a noun (‘the run’), and an imperative (run!) which only goes to show that nouns can be made verbal and vice versa depending on context, and we do not really need  to attach verb or noun markers since in actual use, the verbal or nominal character is revealed from context. A good example today is the word  text used on cellphones. There is now a verb form as in text me a message  I think this transforming of nouns into verbs is very natural to humans and that the same stem served both nouns and verbs. And depending on whether we view a grammatical ending on a verb or a noun, produces different interpretations. For example from the noun point of view, the bare stem is Genitive.  If a verb, the base stem is the basic 2nd person imperative.  Furthermore, when an ending with v.i. is viewed as a noun we have Venetic dynamic Partitive and an infinitive when viewed as a verb. What is common to both is the idea of ‘to’.  Another example - a stem with .s. on the end is the Inessive when viewed as a noun, but becomes the active present gerund when viewed as a verb. This suggests the concept of ‘in’ was closely related to the concept of ‘now’ (in the present moment?).
Without being able to identify verbs vs nouns from context and grammatical structure, I would have had difficulty identifying verbs. For example almost until the end, I thought what was a Partitive ending on a noun was actually a marker for the infinitive on a verb. Once I discovered this in a sentence that had no other candidate for a verb, I found that there were about five words whose sentences were greatly improved by translating them as infinitives.

The basic verb form is the imperative. It is easy to see why – the first words in human languages were commands. “Come here!” “Run!” “Catch it!” etc.

Note how in English we can only identify the basic imperative by adding the exclamation mark!!

2.4.2 Imperative

We will only deal with imperatives that we found within the Venetic inscriptions:

An example of that is  voto ‘water!’ as in voto klutiiari.s. vha.g.s.to   ‘water the clutch (of flowers) well’
The most recognizable example in the body of inscriptions is the word leno in o.p. voltiio lenoup skyward fly!
We also saw it in peuia! ‘catch (him)!’

 A very noticable verb form in the body of inscriptions is the 3rd person imperative in  the word .e.go, which means ‘let remain, let endure, let continue’   It just happens that in the funerary inscriptions it is most needed, as it is something similar to the common modern idea of ‘rest in peace’ Another 3rd person Imperative found in the body of inscriptions  is v.i.ugo ‘let carry’.   It indicates that –go is the marker, and it is analogous to Estonian marker –gu as in jäägu or viigu

In general the 2nd Person Imperative is the most basic verb form, and one can imagine it to be the first verb form in humanity, where a chief uses it to command someone to action. That is why the 2nd Person Imperative is a good indicator of the verb stem. For example if .e.go is a 3rd Person Imperative, then its 2nd Person Imperative would be simply .e. , and that would also be its verb stem in general (It would be analgous to Estonian jää!)

2.4.3 Infinitive

Estonian has two forms of infinitive, the ta-infinitive (also called the 2nd infinitive –  example jooksda) and the ma-infinitive (also called the 1st infinitive – example jooksma) The ma-infinitive is a new development  probably intended to turn infinitives into nominal forms.  As Aavik writes – “the 1st infinitive was originally a verbal noun in the Illative”  Since it is new, it would not be found in ancient Finnic, and if there is a use of –MA in Venetic, it would be as a verbal noun in the Illative. I have interpreted it with meaning ‘in state of..’ as it works. There are a couple of instances in which maybe this was the case such as perhaps in v.i.rema. But in general, if we compare Estonian and Venetic on the matter of the infinitive, we have to focus on the ta-infinitive which has to be the original infinitive (even though grammars call it the “2nd”  infinitive).

Finnish, on the other hand treats the naked verb stem/root as the infinitive. Neither the –ta nor –ma ending had developed.

What turned out to be infinitives in Venetic, I originally thought were nouns with Partitive endings and the resulting interpretations didn’t work too well. Then in one instance I thought “it should be an infinitive” and went back through everything and found indeed that if  “to” + noun were changed to “to” + verb, the problematic interpretations (about 5 of them) became straightforward and elegant as infinitives. The conclusion was that infinitives in Venetic are defined by the verb stem plus what resembles the Partitive ending -v.i.  This is not peculiar if Venetic already uses the Partitive in a dynamic sense translatable with ‘to (join with)’. Insofar as English derived from a Germanic language with Suebic/Venetic substratum, it explains why in English the infinitive is expressed by “to” + verb.   This is one of the remarkable coincidences that further supports the correctness of the entire thesis of Venetic origins in Suebic (at the top of the amber route before the Roman era), and Suebic in turn underlying later developments of Germanic languages in the north.

But is there resonance with Estonian too? If as we propose, Venetic and Estonian shared a parent language, then how would that parent language lead to both Estonian 2nd Infinitive, which is marked by -ta or –da, and also to Venetic marked by a Partitive-like ending?  Answer: We already saw how the Venetic Partitive can be derived by changing the T in the Estonian Partitive to J (.i.)  This desire to use J is no doubt, as I already said, a consequence of the strong palatalization.  If we assume the parent language was closer to Estonian, and convert the T in an Estonian ta-infinitive  to a J then for example (to use a clean example that illustrates well) põõrata 'to turn towards'  becomes põõraja.  If we now drop the final a then we have the Venetic infinitive!  And in fact for this example it appears in an inscription as infinitive pora.i 
  mego dona.s.to .e.b .v.i.aba.i.$a  pora.i. .o.p iorobo.s.   [bronze sheet MLV-8, LLV-Es23]
Our brought-thing (ie the offering)  remains,  into the free, to turn up into the infinite-way

Thus the relationship between Estonian and Venetic is described by the following using the stem põõra- as the example:  põõrata > põõrat > põõraj = pora.i.

This presents us with the way to form more infinitives, from verb stems. For example perhaps the infinitive of .e. ‘remain’ would have been .e.i.  This is a guess since I did not identify it in the inscriptions. (In Estonian jää >jääda which according to the transformation would become jääj =.e.i. )  But it may be there somewhere, and I have misintepreted it.

 Examples of infinitives appearing in the body of inscriptions follow. Note how perfect it is to interpret them as verbs in the infinitive form. To identify an infinitive we first have to generally translate the sentence and identify the verbal idea and determine that the infinitive meaning actually fits better and seems more natural than to interpret it as a Partitive.

pora.i. 'to turn towards’
mego dona.s.to .e.b .v.i.aba.i.$a  pora.i. .o.p iorobo.s.   [bronze sheet MLV-8, LLV-Es23]  ‘Our brought-thing (ie the offering)  remains,  into the free, to turn up into the infinite-way

vo.t.te.i  ‘to take’
 mego dona.s.to  ka.n.te.s. vo.t.te.i. iio.s. a.kut.s. $a.i.nate.i. re.i.tiia.i.  [LLV Es64]   Our brought-thing (ie the offering) in carrying, to take, into eternity, into the beginning.

ka.n.ta.i  ‘to bear’
.e.go ka.n.ta.i.  ta.i.vo.n.tna.i.  [obelisque- MLV-67, LLV-Es12]           ‘Let remain, to carry (=to bear) till sky’s-place’ Note how there is no other verb possible, since  –na.i. on the last word is a case ending. In this case, ka.n.ta.i. must be verbal and the infinitive meaning is obvious.

mno.i to go
.e.go  vo.l.tiio-mno.i.  iuva.n.t-iio.i   [obelisque- MLV-59 LLV-Es4]       Let remain, to  skyward-go, in the infinite direction to join infinity
 Here the absence of a case endings on vo.l.tiio and iuva.n.t suggests they are the first part of compound words. The first one vo.l.tiio-mno.i.   seems like verb ‘go’ in an infinitive (Estonian minna) and the second iuva.n.t-iio.i  nominal with a dynamic Partitive

kata.i to vanish
.e.go  kata.i. ege.s.tna.i.  [obelisque- MLV-66, LLV-Es11]
Let remain, to vanish, till the everlasting

reniio.i. to climb
.e.nogene.i.  .e.netiio.i.  .e.p.petari.s.  a.l.ba-reniio.i.  -  [MLV-133    Additional external context: image of a warrior on horseback
(?---?)  Eneti (Shipper) to Alps-climb, Bon Voyage! (The first word is too uncertain to even guess. It appears nowhere else.)

There may be others in the body of known inscriptions.

2.4.4  Present Indicative

Due to the limited number of inscriptions there are few instances of verbs in the Present Indicative.  Fortunately there were enough to at least identify endings for the singular first second and third person. The following table summarizes these endings for the Present Indicative, as revealed by Venetic sentences.   We compare them to Estonian. It is expected to be similar to Estonian, based on the accumulated evidence that Venetic, derived from Suebic, is closest to Estonian because ancient Estonian was a brother language to Suebic while Finnish has roots in a more ancient ancestral Finnic.  

1.  -n (ie vedan)
2.  -d (ie ostad)
3.  -b  (ie jääb)
-(ie vdan)
-d,-t  (ie  o.s.dot)
-b  (ie .e.b)
1.  -me (ie vedame)
2.  -te
3. -vad 
  -m  (ie vdam)
 -t (?- not enough data)
 - (?)

2.4.5  Active and Passive Past Participle  -na, -to

The Active Past Participle seemed to be marked by a -na on the verb stem. This resonates with Est -nud.

The Passive `Past Participle seemed to be marked by a -to on the verb stem. This resonates with Est -tud.

Note that conversion between Estonian and Venetic mainly involves the way Venetic palatalizes everything and the secondary effects of it. Thus the conversion between  tud <> to is also the consequence of Venetic speakers (and their Suebic source) softening endings to the extreme, in this case dropping the D.

Examples of  Passive Past Participles among the inscriptions include doto 'brought'  moloto 'buried' .
 moloto   .e..n.noniia  [urn- MLV 91, LLV-Pa90]
buried (or made to ash) to unite with Venetia’(I believe  .e..n.noniia meant ‘Venetia’ I accept that it might be something slightly different, but based on the word for ‘Veneti’ or ‘Shipper’)

Th –na Active Past Participle form could also be the Essive case ending (see earlier) The following example the Passive Past Participle doto but also shows mo.l.dna which makes sense whether you treat it as an Active Past Participle or Essive.

mego  doto  v.i.ogo.n.ta  mo.l.dna  .e.b. [stylus - MLV-24B, LLV-Es43] Our brought group-of-carryings  as ash remains (A burnt offering made to Rhea)                                        OR
Our brought group-of-carryings  ashed (become ashes) remains

This  is a good example of how the same stem and endings have similar meanings, except one has a static sense and the other a dynamic sense. It indicates that originally languages did not separate words into nouns and verbs or adjectives and adverbs, but simply shifted meanings according to whether the context required a verbal/dynamic interpretation or a nominal/static interpretation.

2.4.6  Present Participle(?)

  The Present Participle is marked in Estonian and Finnish by –-v(a) and since it is in both we might therefore expect to find it in Venetic. However it is hard to identify. Perhaps one example is the stem v.i.v- found within

iiuvant  v.i.ve.s.tin  iio.i.  -   [round stone- MLV -138, LLV-Pa8 ]
In the direction of infinity, would  be(??) carrying  to infinity.

 It is obious that  v.i.ve.s.tin is a verb is obvious because it cannot be the other two words, but the meaning of the –e.s.tin is hard to decipher.From context alone, it seemed it might be some complex passive verb form.

Needless to say, we need to find more examples to confirm the Present Participle.
There are more examples for the Active Present Gerund.

2.4.7  Active Present Gerund
       There are enough examples for this. This is marked by an .s. on a verb stem. Examples:  mno.s. ‘in going’ ;  ka.n.te.s.   ‘in bearing, carrying’  This has been determined from how it fits very well in the context of the sentences, as well as resonance with Estonian/Finnish. (For example Estonian minnes, kandes)  Note that this form can also be viewed as Inessive where the verb stem is taken as a noun stem.

mego dona.s.to vo.l.tiiomno.s. iiuva.n.t.s .a.riiun.s. $a.i.nate.i. re.i.tiia.i     [bronze sheet MLV- 10 LLV- Es25]  Our brought-item ((ie offering), skyward-going, in the infinite direction, into the airy-realm[?], to (=unite with) you of the Gods, to (=unite with) Rhea

 vda.n.   vo.l.tiio.n.mno.s. dona.s.to ke la.g.s.to $a.i.nate.i. re.i.tiia.i.  o.p vo.l.tiio leno [bronze sheet- MLV-12A, LLV-Es27]  I convey, skyward-going, the bringing(=offering) and  gift to (=unite with) you of the Gods, to (=unite with) Rhea;  up skyward fly!.

 mego dona.s.to  ka.n.te.s. vo.t.te.i. iio.s. a.kut.s. $a.i.nate.i. re.i.tiia.i. [LLV Es64]   Our brought-thing (ie the offering) in carrying, to take, into eternity, into the beginning.

2.4.8  Other Complex Verb Forms

Other complex verb forms occur in Venetic, since I came across some that were difficult to figure out, even when consulting Estonian or Finnish for ideas. I had to make intuitive guesses or leave it as a (???). The problem is that Venetic was highly palatalized and it is difficult to understand from one example what effect that would have in reshaping the grammatical endings from the original common ancestor of  Venetic(=Suebic) and Estonian(=Aestic).

There are only a few, and there is no value in discussing them here as any conclusions would be highly tentative. For example in  .o..s.t..s.  katus.ia .i.io.s. dona.s.to .a.tra.e..s. te.r.mon.io.s. de.i.vo.s [MLV- 125, LLV- Vi2] the context would suggest something like ‘would disappear’ but we simply don’t know. The form does not appear anywhere else for comparing.


2.5.1 Observations Regarding  Finnic Evolution

In the first section on the Partitive, I presented a tree chart that demonstrated that  the Partitive and several other case endings suggested that Finnish is descended from the original Finnic language across northern language (which originated from the original archeologically defined “Maglemose” boat-oriented hunter-gatherers.), and that the ancestor of Estonian and Venetic, ie ancient Aestic and ancient Suebic, was a daughter language of it probably developed among professional traders in the Baltic and North Seas following the arrival of farmers.


The above chart shows how the Inessive, Illative, and Partitive cases developed first from ancient Finnish to a general Baltic-Finnic among seagoing peoples, and then that language separating in two which I have called Suebic and Aestic, using terms from the Roman era when they still existed.

(This chart also suggests that Estonian does not belong to the current Baltic Finnic languages which include Finnish but rather to a different Aestic-Finnic of the east Baltic oriented to the Aestii market at the southeast Baltic. It also suggests yet another subdivision of Finno-Ugric was the Suebic-Finnic family, which existed in the early Roman Age, but disappeared as it was displaced by Germanic after the Goth advances into the Jutland Peninsula during and after the Roman Age.)

We are here mainly interested in the dialectic separation of Aestic and Suebic, insofar as Estonian developed to a great extent for Aestic and Venetic developed from Suebic being taken south to northern Italy via the amber trade.

In the course of the preceding description of grammar, we saw some further examples confirming that Suebic/Venetic deviated from Aestic/Estonian mainly in ways that arose from the highly palatalized manner of speaking.  For example we can now also add that the Venetic infinitive arose from an earlier T-infinitive that survived in Estonian but – like the Partitive – became a .i.-infinitive in Venetic (ie T,D > .i. (“J”))
Other than that, we can see the evidence of vowel raising (such as Est. U appearing as O in Venetic).

For example Est. –tud, is –to in Venetic. I believe that linguists who analyze what has been discovered in this project, will find a great deal that proves that
a)The north Italic ancient Venetic came from the west Baltic dialect of a Baltic Sea Finnic which we have decided to call “Suebic”.
b)This Baltic Sea Finnic (of about 100 generations ago) developed out of the earlier hunter-gatherer Finnic, the latter evolving into Finnish and Saamic.
c)The west Baltic, Suebic/Venetic dialect became very palatalized and tight mouthed around 2000-3000 years ago, probably from original farming peoples who migrated northward into the Jutland Peninsula and southern Sweden  assimilating into the prevailing indigenous Finnic and speaking it with the accent of their original Indo-European language (of probably the “Corded-ware” culture)

2.5.2 Enough Grammar and Lexicon to Create Original Sentences

Past interpreting of the Venetic inscriptions has only arrived at skeletal descriptions of grammar, which mostly comes from being projected from an assumed related language, and finding proof in the Venetic inscriptions themselves becomes difficult or impossible. In my methodology, I focussed primarily on what I could determine directly from the inscriptions, and did not bring Finnic references into play until I had independently determined that Venetic appeared to be Finnic. When done in that way, the results are true, and not forced. If true, then everything falls into place without being forced.

In my methodology I used only complete sentences since grammar can only be determined if we have complete sentences and then we can look for the subject, object, modifiers etc. That cannot be done from fragments of sentences. The unknowns get filled up from the imagination.

But there were less than 100 usable inscriptions. It follows that the amount of words and grammar that can be discovered is limited.

Still, the final proof of having discovered the true Venetic lies in the extent to which a lexicon and grammar can be discovered, especially enough that it is possible to generate new sentences.

At the end of  THE VENETIC  LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL* I showed some easy examples of how new sentences could be created from the existing lexicon and grammar.  Here are some examples branching out from the actual sentence:

pupone.i.  .e.go  rako.i.     .e.kupetaris
to the father/elder  let remain  a duck


We can add a noun in the Partitive. Thus ‘Bring a duck!’ is
do  rako.i. Bring a duck!’

or using the pueia of the real example,
pueia rako.i.  catch a duck!’

dogo  rako.i. Let him/them bring a duck!’  ‘Let a duck be brought!

do.i. rako.i.   ‘To bring a duck

 rakone.i.  dogo  voto.i. 
to the duck let bring some water

votone.i.  viougo  rako.i.    
to the water let  carry a duck

pupotane.i.  .e.go  rakota.i.
to the fathers/elders let  remain some ducks

pupoine.i.  .e.go  rakoi.i.
to the fathers/elders let  remain some ducks

pupone.i.  dob  rako.i.  
(he) brings a duck to the father/elder

. The Active Past Particple appears with our earlier examples as
pupone.i.  dono  rako.i.  
a duck (being) brought to the father/elder

 The Passive Past Particple appears with our earlier examples as
pupone.i.  doto  rako.i.  
a duck (having been) brought to the father/elder

voto ob  dono  rako.i.   pupone.i.
the water has brought a duck  to the father/elder

rakoto.i.  .e.go  pupo.i. Some ducks , let remain, joining with the Father

pupone.i.  .e.go  rako.i.   ‘Let remain the duck till the Father

pupol .e.go  rako.i.   ‘Let remain the duck with (at) the Father

Using the verb a.n.a for ‘give’
a.n.an rako.i. pupole.i. I give the duck to the Father

Using the verb vo.t.te for ‘take’
vo.t.ten rako.i. pupo.l.tI take the duck away from the Father

tivale.i. be.l.  rako lenego!   ‘On wing, let the duck fly!

rako mneb voto.s.   ‘The duck goes into the water

As the duck emerges from the water we use the Elative ‘out of’ as follows:
pupo  vo.t.teb rako voto.s.t   ‘The Father takes the duck out of the water’

AND SO ON... Sadly, because most of the inscriptions appeared in the context of prayers to the goddess or funerary situations, we lack some of the common everyday words in order to construct some common everyday sentences  - unless we find word stems from outside the realm of the inscriptions on archeological objects.  We might for example obtain some words from Roman texts, such as  using the place name Tergeste (now Trieste) to propose that there was a word te.r.g meaning ‘market’.

These sentences are only examples to show how the existing Venetic inscriptions can be used to expand the sentences into other forms, and how words from other sentences can be introduced. A thousand new sentences could be generated from the ones I deciphered. For more detailed discussions of creating such sentences, see section 15.3 of THE VENETIC  LANGUAGE An Ancient Language from a New Perspective: FINAL*,

Critics may point to how today movies will hire a linguist to create a language for a movie. That is easy. But what is the probability of anyone being able to create an imaginary language that also happens to produce sentences that mirror actual sentences in the Venetic inscriptions, and the meanings of those sentences correspond well with the contexts in which those sentences appear.  For that to happen by chance, and not be real, it would be easier to be hit by a comet.

Science in general is governed by the laws of probability and statistics and the truth of ANY theory in science is evaluated by the level of probability achieved in the experimental results. As the person who struggled to find results, some of the results have so much supportive information that the probability of being correct is 99%. At worst the results can be 50% probability of being correct. By interpreting only complete sentences, interpreting contexts, and adding cross-references with Estonian or Finnish, there were only a handful of sentences that were less than 50% probable and excluded from the study. Because almost all the Venetic inscriptions were written in short sentences on identifiable objects whose purpose and context was easy to identify, some interpretations were possible, and usually there were very few words that did not occur in other inscriptions that could be used for cross-reference to ensure greater accuracy in meaning.


R e f e r e n c e s

More on A. Paabo Venetic investigations and papers: Follow links given at bottom, below

Andres Pääbo, 2002-2014,  THE VENETIC  LANGUAGE An Ancient Language  from a New Perspective: FINAL*,  www.paabo.ca

LLV = G.B. Pellegrini & A.L. Prosdocimi, 1964 La Lingua Venetica,  Padova.
MLV = M. Lejeune, 1974. Manuel de la Langue Vénète,

F u r t h e r  S t u d i e s


How Venetic Sounded (Pronunciation)

 Author's Page at Academia.edu   or    Author's website page on Venetic

author of all content except where otherwise cited: : A.Paabo, Box 478, Apsley, Ont., Canada

contact author

2017 (c) A. Pääbo.