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Oscan(ŏs`kən), extinct language belonging to the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. See Italic languagesItalic languages,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages that may be divided into two groups. The first group consists of the ancient Italic languages and dialects that were once spoken in Italy.
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the language of the Oscans; a language of the Italic subgroup (Osco-Umbrian branch) of the Indo-European family of languages.
Osean texts written in the Etruscan, Greek, and Latin alphabets date from the fifth to the first century B.C. Approximately 300 Osean inscriptions have been preserved in the form of coin legends, grave inscriptions, dedications, and inscriptions on landmark stones.
The Osean language had more than 11 dialects. It was characterized by the retention of diphthongs and intervocalic -s-, the transition of labiovelars to labials, and anaptyxis (introduction of a vowel sound in a consonant cluster in order to facilitate pronunciation).