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tflex

Why Latin Died Out?

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Latin was widely used in europe for many centuries even after the fall of the Roman empire. Why did it eventually die out and give way to the romance languages? By which period was latin all but forgotten? and what are the specific reasons for it's replacement by the other languages, was it not practical enough?

 

If somebody can help me, I'm not an expert on languages.

Edited by tflex

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I would venture to say it has never died and was certainly never forgotten. To borrow a concept proposed from our Forum member Andrew Dalby, the Romance languages are just evolved-devolved (whichever you perfer) 'dialects' of original Latin.

 

From my point of view it picked up momentum again during the Renaissance but by that time English and the Romance languages were so strong that there was no way to bring it back in it's original form on a bureaucratic scale.

 

It has been the learned man's language ever since the dark ages. It's structure is truely superb.

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Andrew Dalby has answered this in another thread (im looking for it! :) ) the short reply ? It hasnt died out at all, French, Italian, Romanian , Portugeuse and Spanish are all modern dialects with specific names: whilst ancient greek is still called greek! The modern forms have adapted to "modern" living but AD contends that the basic bones are visible .

 

 

aha simulta ;) neous posts!

Edited by Pertinax

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I would venture to say it has never died and was certainly never forgotten. To borrow a concept proposed from our Forum member Andrew Dalby, the Romance languages are just evolved-devolved (whichever you perfer) 'dialects' of original Latin.

 

From my point of view it picked up momentum again during the Renaissance but by that time English and the Romance languages were so strong that there was no way to bring it back in it's original form on a bureaucratic scale.

 

It has been the learned man's language ever since the dark ages. It's structure is truely superb.

 

It seems to me if Europe really wanted to be united they should adopt one common language and there is no need to invent a so called new "European Language" when there is already one that exists. Why not just go back to Latin, it's a proven language and if it's structure is superb they should reinstate it as an offical language of Europe.

 

Also is the modern Latin used in the Catholic church the same as the classical Latin used by the Romans?

Edited by tflex

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But here's a related question: why did written and 'standard' Latin continue to be used in its (more or less) classical form, while the spoken dialects of the western Empire gradually got more and more different from it, eventually -- by early medieval times -- being recognised as completely different languages? Why didn't people's written language keep pace with their spoken language?

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But here's a related question: why did written and 'standard' Latin continue to be used in its (more or less) classical form, while the spoken dialects of the western Empire gradually got more and more different from it, eventually -- by early medieval times -- being recognised as completely different languages? Why didn't people's written language keep pace with their spoken language?

 

The same reason why scholars and professionals still write proper English but most youngster's speak a dialect that anyone over 30 can hardly relate to... ;)

 

(Edit for elaboration) In otherwords, when the group of literate people gets smaller the spoken version of the language will morph because there is no anchor provided by the written grammar.

Edited by Pantagathus

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Also is the modern Latin used in the Catholic church the same as the classical Latin used by the Romans?

 

The answer is yes and no. In terms of diction(because the Church still create their own latin words) and a few important forms, no (the Church has a habit of leaving out the verbs which annoys me). The way you read,pronounce, and construct it is very close but also fairly dissimilar.

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I agree with the evolved faction. Think of english, do you think you could coverse fluently with Chaucer? I doubt it. Languages evolve end of story. English currently has about 500k words and gets updated annually. In 500 years do you think they'll be able to read these forums?

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I agree with the evolved faction. Think of english, do you think you could coverse fluently with Chaucer? I doubt it. Languages evolve end of story. English currently has about 500k words and gets updated annually. In 500 years do you think they'll be able to read these forums?

 

I agree totally. Who knows, probably 500 years from now, they might mistakenly call English Latin because all of the derivatives.

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Languages evolve end of story.

 

Languages do evolve, but that should be the beginning of the story not the end!

 

Among modern languages, the rate of linguisitic change differs under different conditions. The same was almost certainly true of ancient languages as well. For example, compare the vocabulary of the earliest Latin literature in Rome (say, The Twelve Tables) to the literature of Romans 500 years later, 1000 years later, 1500 years later, and so on. Do the same for the literature in Spain, Gaul, Africa, and so forth. I'd bet that any objective measures of linguistic similarity would show that the rate of change differs dramatically based on population factors such as isolation, immigration, social mobility, and so on.

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Whats the closest modern language to Latin? Is it Spanish, French, Italian etc.

Historical linguistics isn't my specialization, but I'd guess (almost wildly) that up until a few hundred years ago the relatively isolated communities that spoke Ladin and Romansch would be the closest. And, please, nobody tell me that these are dialects and not languages. A "language" is simply a dialect with an army!

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Whats the closest modern language to Latin? Is it Spanish, French, Italian etc.

Historical linguistics isn't my specialization, but I'd guess (almost wildly) that up until a few hundred years ago the relatively isolated communities that spoke Ladin and Romansch would be the closest. And, please, nobody tell me that these are dialects and not languages. A "language" is simply a dialect with an army!

 

If that is true, does Texan count as a language, quite a lot of people like to say they speak Texan.

Edited by FLavius Valerius Constantinus

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If that is true, does Texan count as a language, quite a lot of people like to say they speak Texan.

When Texans get their own "nucular" weapons (as they would say), I won't argue with them!

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