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Hellfire

Why Latin died out

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I'm trying to form a speech for school about why the language of Latin has died out, I read another forum and the posters kept going in circles, I felt. So I just wanted to start a brand new conversation about the subject.

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Well, it depends on your point of view. Most linguists don't believe that Latin died out; we believe that Latin evolved. Even the daily language of the Empire wasn't Classical Latin; it was Vulgar Latin, which was a further evolution of Classical Latin, of sorts. The modern Romance languages are just an even further evolution of that change.

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Philip Baldi's Foundations of Latin is a good place to start to read about how Latin came to be.

 

Latin is an Italic language, which is a branch of Indo-European. Baldi also has a good book on IE languages, Introduction to the Indo-European Languages.

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Philip Baldi's Foundations of Latin is a good place to start to read about how Latin came to be.

 

Latin is an Italic language, which is a branch of Indo-European. Baldi also has a good book on IE languages, Introduction to the Indo-European Languages.

 

 

Could I find the Latin book in a local library or would I have to buy it from Amazon.

Edited by Hellfire

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You could find either in a good university library. Otherwise, you might have to purchase them.

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It died out because it took ten minutes to figure out how to pronounce something correctly. You gotta look at the chart to get tge first person singular impersonal informal hermaphrodite tense down correctly, and flip through a dictionary with the supposed root, and then thirty minutes of dumb silence as you try to figure out how to connect another word to it in a meaningful manner.

 

The Romans hadnt discovered yet the importance of not fucking around with word structure, just letting a word be a word, whatever the circumstance. They also didnt know how to order the dictionary alphabetically, you gotta guess what the root of a word, sometimes in the middle of it, and look it up that way, instead if just the first letter of the whole word.

 

The Romans died off because they couldnt understand one another. They had to conquer other countries just to find people who could speak properly.... and made them slaves so they wouldnt get lonely. Once all the slaves learned latin, the empire collapsed because no one could talk to one another anymore.

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Unfortunately we don't how the Romans spoke latin on the street - all we've got is the inherited 'Queens English' version from the christian church. Whilst latin is to a newbie a horrible complex language, so is English, so my japanese work colleagues inform me. If you're born to it latin would be a lot easier. As it happens, I hardly know any Latin at all. Praise the Lord for Google Translate.

Edited by caldrail
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Japanese is easier, I can atleast pronounce it. I took a semester of it 9th grade. Two alphabets plus kanji complicates it, but its a very friendly language to English speakers.

 

Ive given up on the idea of ever speaking latin... my old boss could speak it and the romance languages, plus Cantonese..... I would ask him...... It just..... no. Just no. I've been staying up till 3am learning a language I cant hope to ever pronounce. Japanese is very easy to pronounce.

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I don't see how Latin is difficult at all [ OK, except for the memorization aspect which is just a boring marathon of rote exercises]. FYI, I grew up in Italy for the first few years of my life, took a couple of years of Latin in parochial high school & studied Russian in both the Army and in Russia.

 

They're Indo-European languages so they (and English) have a similar skeletal structure in terms of grammar it seems to me although English lost much of it's declensions from Old English. I saw that the better one was at English grammar the better you caught on to Russian declensions or in return your knowledge of English grammar improved substantially.

 

Docoflove1974 knows more about this then all of us put together I imagine. If she ever comes back around it'd be interesting to get more of her insight.

Edited by Virgil61
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Well, it depends on your point of view. Most linguists don't believe that Latin died out; we believe that Latin evolved. Even the daily language of the Empire wasn't Classical Latin; it was Vulgar Latin, which was a further evolution of Classical Latin, of sorts. The modern Romance languages are just an even further evolution of that change.

Somewhere on the 'net is a comparison of the Lord's Prayer in Latin [church/Vulgate version?] with the Sardanian Italian dialect, the similarities were pretty dramatic I thought. Assuming the comparisons were in valid forms. Edited by Virgil61

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Okay, apparently I'm arguing in favor of Analytic Language over Synthetic. 

 

I can't ever make out a pronouciation key, period...... I have to hear it, and then mess up pronouncing it 5000 times. Japanese just happens to have similar sounds as American English. 

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Well, it depends on your point of view. Most linguists don't believe that Latin died out; we believe that Latin evolved. Even the daily language of the Empire wasn't Classical Latin; it was Vulgar Latin, which was a further evolution of Classical Latin, of sorts. The modern Romance languages are just an even further evolution of that change.

Somewhere on the 'net is a comparison of the Lord's Prayer in Latin [church/Vulgate version?] with the Sardanian Italian dialect, the similarities were pretty dramatic I thought. Assuming the comparisons were in valid forms.

 

Is it the one found here? Substituting a Q for the K shown in the second Sardinian dialect (Logudorese) will ease the visual disparity between it and Latin.

 

"Latin" probably varied throughout the Roman Empire due to local influences, even at the height of Roman power and influence. The ruling Roman class, of course, would speak a more consistent version of Latin (as they were from the City itself or at least nearby), but provincial people and their officials would be much more likely to use a pidgin (mixed) form of Latin with the local language(s). The Western Christian Church continued to use Classical (or nearly Classical) Latin in official documents and as a liturgical language until Vatican II in the 1960s, but the Romance languages each developed from Latin and local influences in their own regions, from Portuguese in the west to Romanian in the east.

 

On a different point: once one learns that "case" and "inflection" help group words together, word order suddenly is less critical than it was before. This can be very helpful when dealing in languages *not* one's own. My native language is American English. When I was 10, we were transferred to a Spanish-speaking country, so...Spanish. Then, in college, I started Russian, followed by German, and discovered inflections, case, and the rest of it. I LOVED IT. Later, when I needed to add French, it seemed a little...flat. Back to plain old SVO, pretty much. Throw in a school year's worth of Saturday morning "business Japanese" classes in 1991--word order was, again, the Way of the Day. (Just don't ask me to read any kanji, please.) Then, at last, I was free to take the UC Berkeley Latin Intensive one summer (10 weeks, 9:00 to 4:00 every day including July 4), fulfilling a dream I'd had since high school of studying Latin.

 

Modern English is very "slippery" because of its almost total dependence on word order. Someone new to the language can completely lose an entire sentence's meaning by missing (or mis-hearing) only one or two short words, often prepositions--simply because they *are* so short. There are very few redundancies/insurance factors built into Modern English to help hearers / learners reassure themselves that they're understanding the message that's being sent. That is what we've lost, IMHO, by speaking a non-inflected language. According to brain studies (fMRI), Modern English is one of the two most difficult languages to learn as a non-native (foreign) language. The other? ==> Mandarin Chinese.

 

Ave, omnes! et gratias vobis.

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