|Region||Central Asia Minor|
|Extinct||After the 5th century AD|
Phrygian is considered by some linguists to have been closely related to Greek and/or Armenian. The similarity of some Phrygian words to Greek ones was observed by Plato in his Cratylus (410a). However, Eric P. Hamp suggests that Phrygian was related to Italo-Celtic in a hypothetical "Northwest Indo-European" group.
Phrygian is attested by two corpora, one dated to between about the 8th and the 4th century BC (Paleo-Phrygian), and then after a period of several centuries from between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD (Neo-Phrygian). The Paleo-Phrygian corpus is further divided (geographically) into inscriptions of Midas City (M, W), Gordion, Central (C), Bithynia (B), Pteria (P), Tyana (T), Daskyleion (Dask), Bayindir (Bay), and "various" (Dd, documents divers). The Mysian inscriptions seem to be in a separate dialect (in an alphabet with an additional letter, "Mysian s").
The last mentions of the language date to the 5th century AD and it was likely extinct by the 7th century AD.
Paleo-Phrygian used a Phoenician-derived script (its ties with Greek are debated), while Neo-Phrygian used the Greek script.
Its structure, what can be recovered of it, was typically Indo-European, with nouns declined for case (at least four), gender (three) and number (singular and plural), while the verbs are conjugated for tense, voice, mood, person and number. No single word is attested in all its inflectional forms.
Phrygian seems to exhibit an augment, like Greek, Indo-Iranian and Armenian, cf. eberet, probably corresponding to PIE (Proto-Indo-European) *e-bher-e-t (Greek: ép?ere with loss of the final t, Sanskrit: ábharat), although comparison to examples like ios ... addaket 'who does ... to', which is not a past tense form (perhaps subjunctive), shows that -et may be from the PIE primary ending *-eti.
|Stop||p b||t d||k ?|
It has long been claimed that Phrygian exhibits a sound change of stop consonants, similar to Grimm's Law in Germanic and, more to the point, sound laws found in Proto-Armenian, i. e. voicing of PIE aspirates, devoicing of PIE voiced stops and aspiration of voiceless stops. This hypothesis has been rejected by Lejeune (1979) and Brixhe (1984). However, the hypothesis has been revived by Lubotsky (2004) and Woodhouse (2006), who have argued that there is evidence of a partial shift of obstruent series, i.e. voicing of PIE aspirates (*bh > b) and devoicing of PIE voiced stops (*d > t).
Phrygian is attested fragmentarily, known only from a comparatively small corpus of inscriptions. A few hundred Phrygian words are attested; however, the meaning and etymologies of many of these remain unknown.
A famous Phrygian word is bekos, meaning 'bread'. According to Herodotus (Histories 2.2) Pharaoh Psammetichus I wanted to determine the oldest nation and establish the world's original language. For this purpose, he ordered two children to be reared by a shepherd, forbidding him to let them hear a single word, and charging him to report the children's first utterance. After two years, the shepherd reported that on entering their chamber, the children came up to him, extending their hands, calling bekos. Upon enquiry, the pharaoh discovered that this was the Phrygian word for 'wheat bread', after which the Egyptians conceded that the Phrygian nation was older than theirs. The word bekos is also attested several times in Palaeo-Phrygian inscriptions on funerary stelae. It may be cognate to the English bake (PIE *b?eh?g-).Hittite, Luwian (both also influenced Phrygian morphology), Galatian and Greek (which also exhibits a high amount of isoglosses with Phrygian) all influenced Phrygian vocabulary.
The Greek theonym Zeus appears in Phrygian with the stem Ti- (genitive Tios = Greek Dios, from earlier *Diwos; the nominative is unattested); perhaps with the general meaning 'god, deity'. It is possible that tiveya means 'goddess'. The shift of *d to t in Phrygian and the loss of *w before o appears to be regular. Stephanus Byzantius records that according to Demosthenes, Zeus was known as Tios in Bithynia.
Another possible theonym is bago- (cf. Old Persian baga-, Proto-Slavic *bog? "god"), attested as the accusative singular bag?un in G-136. Lejeune identified the term as *b?agom, in the meaning 'a gift, dedication' (PIE *b?ag- 'to apportion, give a share'). But Hesychius of Alexandria mentions a Bagaios, Phrygian Zeus (? ? ?) and interprets the name as ? 'giver of good things'.
Brixhe pp. 165-178was invoked but never defined (see the help page).