These and other points of similarity, possibly only accidental, have led to the conjecture that the primitive Illyrian language may have exerted some kind of influence on the other idioms of the peninsula.
But unfortunately the traditions they have transmitted to us are often various and conflicting, while the only safe test of the affinities of nations, derived from the comparison of their languages, is to a great extent inapplicable, from the fact that the idioms that prevailed in Italy in and before the 5th century B.C. are preserved, if at all, only in a few scanty and fragmentary inscriptions, though from that date onwards we have now a very fair record of many of them (see, e.g.
Except, therefore, for a very small and apparently isolated area in the north of Latium and south of Etruria, all the tribes of Italy, though their idioms differed in certain particulars, are left undiscriminated.
It is difficult to learn thoroughly, owing to its many inflexions and accents, and its being largely a language of idioms. (See also Polynesia.) Administration and Trade.
The Tell el-Amarna despatches are crowded with evidences of Canaanite forms and idioms impressed on the Babylonian language of these cuneiform documents.