In the matter of the diphthongs and palatals) corrupted by that of the people round about them; just as we have reason to suppose was the case with the Safine language of the Iguvini, whose very name was later converted into Iguvinates, the suffix -ti- being much more frequent among the -COtribes than among the Safines (see Sabini).
What is called Volscian, known only from the important inscription of the town of Velitrae, and what is called Umbrian, known from the famous Iguvine Tables with a few other records, would be regarded as Safine dialects, spoken by Safine communities who had become more or less isolated in the midst of the earlier and possibly partly Etruscanized populations, the result being that as early as the 4th century n.c. their language had suffered corruptions which it escaped both in the Samnite mountains and in the independent and self-contained community of Rome.
It is one of the most important problems in ancient history to determine what was the ethnological relation of these tribes, whom we may call " Safine," to the people of Rome on the one hand, and the earlier stratum or strata of population in Italy on the other.
A single monument of 5thor 4th-century Safine would be of unique value; but in the absence of any such direct evidence we are thrown back on a few cardinal facts: (1) Festus, though he continually cites the Lingua Osca never spoke of Lingua Sabina, but simply of Sabini, and the same is practically true of Varro, who never refers to the language of the Sabines as a living speech, though he does imply (v.
In one or two other examples of an apparent q in Safine names or glosses it is not difficult to show that the sound was originally a pure palatal followed by a suffixal u (e.g.
There is further an important piece of evidence which connects together all the Safine tribes and distinguishes them sharply, at least in the 5th and following centuries B.C., from the earlier strata of population in Italy.
In the article Volsci it is shown that the addition of the -no- suffix is often a mark of the conquest of an original -co- folk by a Safine tribe.
The assumption of the Safine origin of the -no- suffix is further confirmed by the practice of the Romans themselves.
The folk of Latium after the Safine conquest were no longer Latiares but Latini; and over against the old name Quiritis was the new Populus Romanus.
The assumption that Latin was properly the language of the Latian plain and of the Plebs at Rome, which the conquering patrician nobles learnt from their subjects, and substituted for their own kindred but different Safine idiom, renders easier to understand the borrowing of a number of words into Latin from some dialect (presumably Sabine) where the velars had been labialized; for example, the very common word bos, which in pure Latin should have been *vos.