151035Re: Evolution of Romance (was: **Answer to Pete**)
- Feb 11, 2008Jeffrey Jones wrote:
> On Sun, 10 Feb 2008 23:00:29 -0500, ROGER MILLS <rfmilly@...>Well, yes, Vulgar Latin was not " a colloquialized form of what we call
>> This is OT w.r.t. this thread, but--
>> Over the last several weeks, there has been an interesting and rather
>> astounding thread on Spanish "Ideolengua" (yahoo groups) regarding a recent
>> (?) book by one Yves Cortez, Le français ne vient pas du latin. (And by
>> implication, neither do the other Romance languages). Have any of you been
>> following it, or has anyone else heard of this book?
>> His theory, as I understand it without having seen the book (only the
>> Prologue has been quoted), seems to be, that the bulk of the Roman
>> population spoke not a colloquialized form of what we call Classical Latin,
>> but a separate IE language _closely related to_ Classical Latin but which
>> was already headed toward being a more analytic language.
Classical Latin." Indeed, I find that description somewhat misleading.
The relationship of Vulgar Latin vis-a-vis Classical Latin was very much
like that of Dimotiki vis-a-vis Katharevousa in modern Greek since the
19th cent. Indeed, both Classical Latin and Katharevousa were conscious
literary constructs: both - as it happens - constructing a 'purer' form
of the language under the influence of Classical Attic Greek.
I doubt that Classical Latin was ever anyone's L1 any more than
Katharevousa was, as I understand it. Clearly, however, the speech of
the educated members of the Equestrian & Senatorial ranks would be
likely to approach the Classical norm when speaking among peers. I have
no doubt, moreover, that just as with modern Greek diglossia, so in
Latin the Vulgar (i.e. demotic) and Classical varieties influenced one
>>He calls thisThis is, I agree, rather odd, to say the least.
>> "Ancient Italian", and it, not CL, is the source of the Romance languages.
>> The amazing thing is that some of the respondents are taking this seriouslyWithout actually reading the book, it is difficult to comment
>> !!! and are immune to all arguments to the contrary.
meaningfully on this point.
>> Well, slap my ass and call me Cato-- has M. Cortez never heard ofIsn't Proto-Romance late Vulgar Latin?
> Well, the difference between a dialect (or sociolect in this case) and aYep - like calling Dimotiki and Katharevousa different languages rather
> language is almost purely political, so I suppose he could call VL a "separate IE
> language", if he really wants to.
than different dialects of Greek. It depends how one defines 'language'
and 'dialect'. As I said above, I do not consider VL to be a
colloquialized CL - colloquialized CL is surely the sort of thing one
finds in Cicero's letters (as opposed to the CL of is speeches and his
I consider Vulgar Latin and Classical Latin to be dialects of an
abstract language 'Latin' - both being derived from Early Latin (a
continuum of dialects spoken by the Latins, the inhabitants of Latium
[modern Lazio]) in Italy.
> I don't know why he'd call it "Ancient Italian",I don't know why he calls it "Ancient Italian," if, indeed, it is early
> unless he's reinventing the wheel (otherwise he's just remarketing old
or Proto-Latin he is calling "Ancient Italian.
By 'Ancient Italian' I understand the Proto-language from which not only
Early Latin but also Venetic, Umbrian, Oscan, Sabellian and Sabine are
derived - if indeed Yves Cortez is calling Proto-Romance "Ancient
Italian" what does he call the Proto-language of all the related IE
> It might be interesting to compare what he reconstructs ....Yes, I think one would need to read his book to see whether, in fact, he
is proposing something substantially different from accepted wisdom, or
is just playing around with names and, possibly, making some political
If all that M. Cortez is doing is to say "French ain't descended from
Classical Latin," then I go along with that. But if he's saying
something radically different, i.e. that Proto-Romance was not related
to any sort of Latin then, of course, I disagree. But, as I said,
methinks one needs to read the book.
Entia non sunt multiplicanda
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