Antonio Sciarretta's Toponymy
Common remarks: the place-names have been put in the nominative case, an asterisk * means not attested, reconstructed form. The late place-names of probable Latin origin have not been included. The IE roots are in the form given by Pokorny's Indogermanische W÷rterbuch. The links will be active when the single pages will be published, see the main page. For any comment, suggestion, email me.
According to the oldest of these sources, the Pelasgians are often confused with the Tyrrheanians. But the former came from Arcadia, the latter maybe from Lydia and probably later. According to Pittau, the Tyrrhenians sojourned in Sardinia, being the Sardian (the people of the Nuraghes), for centuries, before to land in Etruria and become the Etrurians. In this case, it is likely that in Etruria they simply adopted the place-names they found, probably adapting them in their language. Some simple rules of such an adaption process can be derived. To a Latin p,t,k may correspond either f,th,ch or p,t,k. The place-names showing the first spelling (Caere/cheizra, Sutrium/shuthri, Tarquinia/tarchna, Volci/velch) have been reconstructed from a "Pelasgian" shift, namely *b,d,g>p,t,k. The place-names showing the second spelling (Cortona/curtun, Clusium/clevsi, Telamon/tlamu, Tarquinia/tarchna, Capena/capna, etc.) have instead been reconstructed from original (IE) *p,t,k. It is not completely clear what this means. Anyway, the origins of the Etruscan language is far from being clear. It is even disputed now if it were really non-IE or if it was at least partly IE, related in this case to the Anatolian branch or even to the "Pelasgian" language itself. This could explain the apparent confusion made in the classical sources between the two people. For this reason, and also because very few Etruscan toponymical appellatives have reached us, here no Etruscan etymologies have been given for the place-names.
The inhabitants of inner Etruria at the arrival of the Tyrrhenians/Etruscans were Umbrians or, according to other sources, Sicani. If these Umbrians are the Tabulae Iguvinae ones, and were speaking an Eastern Italic language, various place-names of inner, central and northern Etruria can be explained, including the ones showing f's, or features like *ei>e, *gw>b. In addition, there is a clear Eastern Italic presence in the region of the Faliscans, who were close to the Sabines, but later strongly influenced by the Etruscans. They can be the last remnaint of the Eastern Italic branch west of the Tiber river.
As for the Sicani, it will be shown in a future page that the most ancient linguistic stratum of Sicily and Liguria shared an exclusive consonantic shift, with *bh,dh,gh>p,t,k. This "Ligurian" stratum could explain at least one place-name in northern Etruria, and is not in contrast with many others.