What Was The Language Of Ancient Rome

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What Was The Language Of Ancient Rome

Rebecca Posner is Professor of Romance Languages ​​at the University of Oxford. Author of The Romance Languages: A Linguistic Introduction and others; Editor of the journal “Romantic Linguistics and Philological Directions” (5 volumes).

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Encyclopedia Editors Encyclopedia editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge through years of experience working on that content or advanced degrees. They write new content and review and edit content from contributors.

Latin is an Indo-European language belonging to the Italic language group and the ancestor of modern Romance languages. During the Middle Ages and until relatively recent times, Latin was the most widely used language in the West for academic and literary purposes.

A “dead” language is one that is not learned as a first language or used in normal conversation. Classical Latin, the language of Cicero and Virgil, remained “dead” after its formation, while Common Latin, the language most used by the Romans, developed as it spread throughout the Western Roman Empire and eventually became Romance. .

Latin was the lingua franca of medieval Western scientific work, so Western scientists used Latin to name species of organisms. In the 19th century, Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus simplified this practice and created binomial nomenclature, in which organisms are identified by genus and species names, both Latinized words.

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Originally spoken by small groups of people living in the lower reaches of the Tiber River, Latin spread with the rise of Roman political power, first through Italy, then through most of western and southern Europe and the Mediterranean coastal regions of central and western Africa. The modern Romance languages ​​developed from the Latin spoken in various parts of the Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages and until relatively recent times, Latin was the most widely used language in the West for academic and literary purposes. It was to be used in the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church until the second half of the century.

The earliest known example of Latin is probably from a.d. VII. century, an inscription of four words on a fibula or pin, in Greek characters. The vowels in later periods show that intact vowels are preserved in unstressed syllables, in contrast to the shortened language. Primitive Latin emphasized the first syllable of a word, as opposed to Latin of the republican and imperial periods, where the accent was placed on the second or last syllable of a word.

Classical Latin generally had six cases of nouns and pronouns (nominative, vocative, genitive, dative, accusative, ablative), with traces of the locative case in some locative classes. besides

Declension classes (shown in grammar books as the third declension), Latin distinguished most of the declension classes inherited from the Indo-European languages.

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At least three forms of Latin were used during the Classical period: Classical Written Latin, Classical Oratorical Latin, and Common Common Latin used by the average speaker of the language. Spoken Latin continued to change, moving away from the classical rules of grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. Many inscriptions in the Classical and immediately post-classical periods are the primary sources of spoken Latin, but, p. III. From the 17th century onwards, many texts were written in a popular style often referred to as Vulgar Latin. Such writers as St. Jerome and Augustine, however, IV. In the late 15th and early 5th centuries, they wrote a good deal of late Latin literature.

The development of Latin continued in two ways. First, the language evolved from local speech forms and evolved into the modern Romance languages ​​and dialects. Second, throughout the Middle Ages the language continued in a more or less standardized form as the language of religion and education; in this way, it greatly influenced the development of Western European languages.

Evidence for classical Latin pronunciation is often difficult to interpret. The spelling is conventional and the grammarians’ comments imprecise, so much extrapolation from post-Romance events is necessary to describe it.

The most important concerns Latin intonation and accentuation. The way vowels developed in prehistoric Latin suggests the possibility of accentuation on the first syllable of each word; later, the accent fell on the last syllable when it had the final syllable or “open” number. The nature of this accent is often disputed: modern grammarians suggest that it is not an accent, but a musical and tonal accent. But some scholars argue that Latin grammarians imitated the behavior of their Greek counterparts, and that the relationship of Latin stress to the length of a syllable’s vowel makes it doubtful that stress was tonal. It is probably a slight accent, usually accompanied by a rise in pitch; In later Latin, the evidence shows that the stress is heavy.

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The system of number of syllables in relation to the length of vowels must have provided the special acoustic characteristics of classical Latin. Generally, a “light” syllable ends with a short vowel, and a “heavy” syllable ends with a long vowel (or diphthong) or consonant. The difference must have been partially reflected in late Latin or early Romance, because even after the loss of the vowel system, light or “open” syllables often developed differently from heavy or “closed” syllables. Generations

Since the vowel length system disappeared after the Classical period, it is not entirely clear how they were pronounced during that period; however, due to post-Romance developments, it has been suggested that differences in vowel length were also related to qualitative differences, with short vowels being clearer or softer than long ones. In standard orthography, long and short vowels were not distinguished, but various means were used in early times to correct this. In the late Roman Republic, a peak (a form similar to the hamza [ ʾ ]) was often used to indicate a long vowel, but this sign was replaced by an acute accent ( ′ ) in the Imperial period. In Classical Latin, length was an important feature of verse as well as popular verse, and mistakes in vowel length were considered barbaric. But later many poets were criticized for failing to adapt to the demands of classical prosody and allowing accents to cancel out differences in length.

Learned speech in the classical period also used a rounded front vowel, a sound derived from Greek and pronounced in French.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) with words derived from Greek; It is probably called Latin in the vernacular

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According to the classical period. Classical pronunciation also mainly used the diphthongs that the Romans pronounced when writing.

The consonant system of Classical Latin probably included a series of labial sounds (made with the lips) /p b m f/ and possibly /w/; dental or alveolar row (produced by the tongue against the front teeth or by the alveolar ridge behind the upper front teeth) /t d n s l/ and possibly /r/; syllabic series (made by bringing the tongue closer or touching the soft palate) /k g/ and possibly /ŋ/; and lip row (pronounced by rounding the lips) /k

/ was a simple labialized consonant, not a cluster, as it did not form a heavy syllable; / g

/ occurs only after /n/, so its single consonant position can be assumed. It’s a voice that expresses

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It probably refers to a labiodental sound uttered when the lower lip touches the upper front teeth, like the English equivalent, in the classical period, but earlier it may have been bilabial (pronounced by touching or joining the lips). Silent call

They were probably middle fricative vowels rather than true consonants; Romance evidence suggests that it later evolved into a palatal fricative, /j/ (pronounced when the tongue touches or approaches the hard palate and is incompletely closed), and two labial fricatives, /β/ (pronounced with lip vibration and incomplete closure). but there is no suggestion of this in the classical period. Some Romantic scholars believe that the Latins

In Modern Spanish (a point, not a blade, rises behind the tooth to give a shock); in early Latin it was usually weakened in final position, a feature common to the Eastern Romance languages. O

It was probably a lingual trill in the classical period, but there is earlier evidence that it may have been a fricative or valve in some positions. There were two types

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And finally; maybe its medial or recent

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