Carian language

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spoken in

southwestern Asia Minor (now Turkey )
speaker (extinct)
Official status
Official language in -
Language codes
ISO 639-3


The Kara was the language of the ancient people of the Carian and was on the southwestern Asia Minor Aegean coast in Caria spoken. It was an Anatolian language , and therefore also an Indo-European language . It is closest to Lycian , which borders the south-east, and in particular the Lycian poetic language (Lycian B or Milyisch), while it differs greatly from Lydian, which borders the north . The Carian language is in more than 200 inscriptions from the period between 750 and 250 BC. Chr. Handed down. Older inscriptions have been found in Egypt and Nubia ( Abu Simbel , Memphis, etc.), where Karer mercenaries were in the service of the Pharaoh ; they date from the 7th and 6th centuries. The more recent inscriptions come from Caria itself.


Karish was written in a local script, the Karian script, which looked similar to the western Greek alphabet and was composed of a total of 45 individual characters.

For a long time, the deciphering of the Carian script was hampered by the fact that many characters look like Greek but have a completely different sound value. It was not until 1975 that Thomas W. Kowalski succeeded in correctly determining a number of phonetic values ​​based on the name equations in Egyptian-Carian inscriptions. This approach was then taken up, corrected and further developed by John D. Ray , Ignacio-Javier Adiego and Diether Schürr. In 1996 a longer Carian inscription with a parallel version in Greek ( bilingual ) was found in ancient Kaunos , which allowed many of the readings to be confirmed.

See also


  • H. Craig Melchert: Carian. In: Roger D. Woodard (Ed.): The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et al. 2004, ISBN 0-521-56256-2 , pp. 609-613.
  • Peter Frei , Christian Marek : The Carico-Greek bilingual from Kaunos. A bilingual state document from the 4th century BC Chr. In: Kadmos 36, 1997, pp. 1-89.
  • Wolfgang Blümel , Peter Frei, Christian Marek (eds.): Colloquium Caricum. Files of the international conference on the Carico-Greek bilingualism of Kaunos (= Kadmos 37). de Gruyter, Berlin et al. 1998.
  • Ignacio J. Adiego: The Carian Language ( Handbook of Oriental Studies . Section 1: The Near and Middle East 86). With an appendix by Koray Konuk. Brill, Leiden et al. 2007, ISBN 978-90-04-15281-6 .

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