What contributions did the Etruscans make to the Roman language?

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danielle1978 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Etruscan alphabet originated from the Greek alphabet, passed down from the Phoenicians, during the eighth-century BCE. The Roman (Latin) alphabet is based on the same alphabet. Unfortunately, further contributions are difficult to list because the Etruscan language is obscure, to say the least. Because scholars have not found a direct link between Etruscan and other languages, surmising any and all contributions made to the Latin language (besides the alphabet mentioned above) is a daunting task, but interesting nonetheless! On a separate, but related note, the Latin language did adopt some Etruscan words, many of which have an English equivalent (e.g. columna, the Latin word, is directly borrowed from Etruscan, and is also related to the English term 'column'). While scholars cannot pinpoint other ways in which the Etruscan language helped shape Latin, we do know that the Latin alphabet is based on the Etruscan alphabet.  

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