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Suggestions include Raetic, Venetic, Etruscan, or Old Latin as candidates.
At the time, all of these scripts had the same angular letter shapes suited for epigraphy, which would become characteristic of the runes.
Runology is the study of the runic alphabets, runic inscriptions, runestones, and their history.
Runology forms a specialised branch of Germanic linguistics.
The process of transmission of the script is unknown.
The oldest inscriptions are found in Denmark and northern Germany, not near Italy.
It is attested on a 6th-century Alamannic runestaff as runa and possibly as runo on the 4th-century Einang stone.
Chauvinisme oblige, je me permets de vous faire remarquer que la photo numéro 43 a été prise à une centaine de mètres des bureaux de JSBG, en Suisse.
The root run- can also be found in the Baltic languages, meaning "speech".
In Lithuanian, runoti means both "to cut (with a knife)" and "to speak".
Giuliano and Larissa Bonfante suggest that runes derived from some North Italic alphabet, specifically Venetic: but since Romans conquered Venetia after 200BC, and then the Latin alphabet became prominent and Venetic culture diminished in importance, Germanic people could have adopted the Venetic alphabet within 3rd century BC or even earlier.
The angular shapes of the runes are shared with most contemporary alphabets of the period that were used for carving in wood or stone.
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However, the use of runes persisted for specialized purposes in northern Europe.