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Title: Linguistic Contact in Prehistoric Italy: The Origins of the Place Name Imola
Authors: Cacciafoco, Francesco Perono
Andrea Nanetti
Keywords: Imola
Indo-European roots *yem-/*jem- and *am- (*me-)
Linguistic contact and alignment
Etruscan stem am-
Reuse and refunctionalization of word-roots and (loan)words
Issue Date: 2015
Source: Cacciafoco, F. P., & Nanetti, A. (2015). Linguistic Contact in Prehistoric Italy: The Origins of the Place Name Imola. Names: A Journal of Onomastics, 63(3), 158-170.
Series/Report no.: Names: A Journal of Onomastics
Abstract: This paper explores possible connections between the Indo-European roots *yem-/*jem- and *am- (*me-) and the Etruscan stem am- through the analysis and reconstruction of the pre-Latin etymology of the Italian placename Imola (Bologna, Emilia-Romagna). The evaluation of plausible links between Indo-European (Italic and, especially, Celtic) and Etruscan in this area, in the specific field of historical toponomastics, could allow relevant considerations inherently in the notions of reuse and refunctionalization of roots pertaining to different languages and linguistic families in the (mainly Prehistoric or Proto-historic) toponymy of border areas. The placename Imola is, therefore, reconstructed through a “convergent” methodology that takes into account the possibility of different and heterogeneous influences in the naming process. The work starts from the analysis of the Indo-European root *yem-/*jem- inferring the possibility of contacts between Indo-Europeans and Etruscans in the area of the inhabited center. The proposal of possible linguistic interexchange envisages the hypothesis of a semantic alignment between the Indo-European root *yem-/*jem- and the Etruscan stem am- or an analogy between the two bases and the Indo-European theme *am- (*me-). The conclusions (a plausible contact and alignment between Indo-European and Etruscan in a border area) of this paper could be relevant also in the field of historical semantics and in the re-interpretation of Etruscan stem am-. The study, therefore, highlights the possibility of contacts and interexchange, in border areas, between different languages and linguistic families.
ISSN: 0027-7738
DOI: 10.1179/0027773815Z.000000000111
Schools: School of Humanities and Social Sciences 
Rights: © 2015 American Name Society. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication in Names: A Journal of Onomastics, published by Taylor & Francis on behalf of American Name Society. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document.  The published version is available at: [].
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Journal Articles

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