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The Language of the Thracians, Ivan Duridanov

VIII. The Thracian, Dacian and Paeonian languages

Many of the village names in ancient Thracia were composite, with the words -para (-phara, -pera, -parn, etc.) ‘a village’, -bria ‘a town’ and -diza (-disza, -dizos) ‘a fortress’ as a second element:
 
Place names ending in -para (-phara, -pera, -parn) Places names ending in -bria Place names ending in -diza, -dizos
Agathapara *Alaaibria Bedizos
*Athypara *Bolbabria Beodizos
Authiparu Maskiobria Burtudizos
Bazopara Mesambria Kistidizos
Belaidipara Poltymbria Orudisza
Bendipara Selymbri Ostudizos
Beripara (two times) Skedabria Tyrodiza (two times?)
Bessapara    
Bospara    
Breierophara    
Brentopara    
Briparo(n)    
*Busipara    
Chesdupara    
Dardapara (two times)    
Dodoparos    
Drusipara    
Gelupara    
Isgipera    
Keirpara    
Kriparn    
Krasalopara    
Longinopara    
Mutzipara    
Priskupera    
*Skaptopara    
Spinopara    
Stratopara    
Subzupara    
Tranupara    
      In total:      35
7
7 (8?)

Map of the Thracian linguaistic territory

Such names are not to be found in Dacia proper (on the northern side of the Danube), in Dobrudzha and most of Northern Bulgaria except its southern eras, where there were seven such names: Mitzipara, Longinopara, Agatapara, Beripara, Kistidizos, Maskiobria, *Alaaibria. The Dacian linguistic area is characterized with composite names ending in -dava (-deva, -daua, -daba, etc.) ‘a town’. The village names in -dava, -deva, are geographically grouped as follows:

1. In Dacia: Acidava, Argedauon, Burridava, Dokidaua, Karsidaua, Klepidaua, Komidaua, Markodaua, Netindaua, Patridaua, Pelendova, *Perburidava, Petrodaua, Piroboridaua, Rhamidaua, Rusidava, Sacidaba, Sangidaua, Setidaua, Singidaua, Sykidaba, Tamasidaua, Utidaua, Zargidaua, Ziridaua, Zucidaua – 26 names altogether.
2. In Lower Moesia (the present Northern Bulgaria) and Scythia minor (Dobrudzha): Aedabe, *Buteridava, *Giridava, Dausdavua, Kapidaua, Murideba, Sacidava, Scaidava (Skedeba), Sagadava, Sukidaua (Sucidava) – 10 names in total.
3. In Upper Moesia (the districts of Nish, Sofia, and partly Kjustendil): Aiadaba, Bregedaba, Danedebai, Desudaba, Itadeba, Kuimedaba, Zisnudeba – 7 names in total.
Besides these regions, similar village names are found in three other places:

Thermi-daua (Ptol.), a town in Dalmatia. A Grecized form of *Germidava. This settlement was probably found by immigrants from Dacia.

Gil-doba – a village in Thracia, of unknown location.

Pulpu-deva (Iord.), Old-Bulg. Plpdib (XII c. AD), Plodiv (XI c. AD), known under the Greek name of Philippopolis (Liv., Plin., Ptol., etc.). The town was named after the conqueror Philip II of Macedon (359-336 BC). It is improbable, however, that ‘Pulpudeva’ was imposed to the local inhabitants by the Macedons. Village names in -deva are not found in Macedonia except Desu-daba in north eastern Macedonia, somewhere around the town of Kochani. This village, however, is attested late – by Livius. Most probably, it was founded by immigrants from Dacia mediterranea, where such names (e.g. Aiadaba, Kuimedaba) were common. The name of Pulpudeva must be explained as a translation of the Greek Philippopolis by the locals, who used -deba – a borrowed word from the north, from the Moesian tribes of the present Northern Bulgaria. The Slavic Plpdib, Plodiv was derived from this Pulpudeva.

In any case names with -dava, -deva are exception in Thracia and cannot be regarded as proper Thracian. There is a clear geographical distinction between the place names ending in -para, -bria, and -dizos (the Thracian ones), from other side, from those ending in -dava, -deva (the Dacian ones) .

There is a number of other, phonetic differences between Dacian and Thracian:
 
Indo-European Dacian Thracian
b, d, g b, d, g  p, t, k
p, t, k p, t, k ph, th, kh
ä (a) (later > i)
e - after a consonant e, resp. a e
ai a ai
ei e ei
dt (tt) s st

=> Thracian and Dacian were two different Indo-European languages.

. . .

The phonetic differences between Thracian and Paeonian are summarized in the table below:
 
Indo-European Paeonian Thracian
o o a
b, d, g b, d, g p, t, k
p, t, k p, t, k ph, th,  kh
sn, zn n(n) (sn), zn

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