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What Etruscan Sounded Like - and how we know

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Published on Nov 17, 2017

Italy's lost language? They gave Rome the alphabet, but we hardly know them. Here's how we pieced together the extinct language of an early Italian civilization.

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~ Briefly ~

A strange Egyptian mummy was found in the 1800s. Its bandages were filled with the letters of a book - not an Egyptian book, but a book written in an archaic Italian language known to Romans as "Etruscan". The book held a deeper mystery beyond the question of its provenance: it couldn't be read, not because the text was undeciphered but because the language was unknown.

Throughout the video we'll discover what we can (and can't) say about Etruscan sounds and words. You'll glimpse bits of Etruscan consonants, vowels, grammar, syllables, accentuation and one major change in the language's history. Along the way, I'll share tales of the hopes and frustrations of the scholars who worked through these discoveries. Finally, you'll hear the reconstructed pronunciation of an Etruscan phrase, along with a likely translation, before concluding we're still far from understanding this captivating tongue.

~ Credits ~

Art, animation, narration and some music by Josh from NativLang

Full credits for images, sfx and for claims made:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p...

Music I did not create (see above doc for full attribution):
Jason Shaw: Sneaky Snooper, The Great Unknown
Josh Woodward: Twinklebell, Cherubs
Kevin MacLeod: Big Mojo, Return of the Mummy, The Sky of our Ancestors, Thinking Music, March of the Spoons, Rynos Theme, The Path of the Goblin King v2

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