The Liburnian language
is an extinct language which was spoken by the ancient Liburnians
, who occupied Liburnia
in classical times. The Liburnian language is reckoned as an Indo-European language
, in the Centum
group. Alternative speculations place it on the same Indo-European branch as the Venetic language
or on a separate branch.
No writings in Liburnian are known. The only Liburnian linguistic remains are Liburnian toponyms and some family and personal names in Liburnia, in Latinized form from the 1st century AD. Smaller differences found in the archaeological material of narrower regions in Liburnia are in a certain measure reflected also in these scarce linguistic remains. There are three groups of names: one in northern Liburnia structurally similar to those of Histri
; another linked to the Dalmatae
and other Illyrians
; and a third group of names common throughout Liburnian territory. Names of local deities also had different regional distributions, while toponyms, in both structure and form, show more diversity and wider dispersion, like Pre-Indo-European (Mediterranean), Indo-European and local features.
This caused many speculations about their language. Due to a certain similarities, Géza Alföldy
has concluded that Liburni
belonged to Venetic language area,Géza Alföldy, Die Namensgebung der Urbevölkerung in der römischen Provinz Dalmatien.
Beiträge zur Namenforschung 15, 1964G. Alföldy, Die......