I finally got a chance to have a good look at Karin Tikkanen’s A Sabellian Case Grammar (Heidelberg, 2011). The book is the newest volume in Winter Verlag’s Handbuch der Italischen Dialekte series, also including Helmut Rix’s editio minor Sabellische Texte (Heidelberg 2002; now completely superceded by M. Crawford et al. Imagines Italicae, London, 2012), and Jürgen Untermann’s Wörterbuch des Oskisch-Umbrischen (Heidelberg, 2000), a fabulously exhaustive dictionary famously known for glossing just about everything as Bedeutung unbekannt.
Tikkanen’s work is the first to independently assess Sabellic case syntax on its own grounds, and not in direct comparison to Latin, at least since the second volume of Von Planta’s Grammatik der Oskisch-Umbrischen Dialekte (Strassbourg, 1897). The book itself is a distillation of a larger doctoral thesis A Comparative Grammar of Latin and the Sabellian Languages. The System of Case Syntax (2009), from which as the story I’ve heard goes, all the Latin material was removed, part of the consequence of having to do the thesis under the auspices of a Classics department.
It is a welcome contribution to the study of the Sabellic (Oscan, Umbrian, South Picene) languages of ancient Italy. Also, pleasing my booklover’s aesthetics, the book is beautifully designed, but… on a minor, minor, note, I couldn’t help but notice this little typo when I pulled it off the library shelf: