Vol. 53 No. 2 (2015)

<em>I longa</em> in hiatus in <em>Corpus Vindolandense</em>


  • Vindolanda’s tablets,
  • I longa,
  • resyllabification


The Corpus Vindolandense includes the oldest extant Latin handwritten documents in Britain written between the 1st and 3rd century CE. One of the most interesting phenomenon concerns the so-called I longa. Actually, this graphic feature may mark the vowel, but also the palatal glide in hiatus. Our analysis concerns this latter case, i.e. the spelling phenomenon where [i] in hiatus context loses its status of syllabic nucleus, becoming a glide. Since in the Corpus Vindolandense I longa in hiatus occurs quite often, we assume that the gliding of i in hiatus occurred in Latin as spoken in Vindolanda. The process can be described as an instance of the sociolinguistic variation because its frequency reflects diaphasic and diastratic dynamics.