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Latin Alive


  • 7 maps
  • Page extent: 364 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.59 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521515757)

In Latin Alive, Joseph Solodow tells the story of how Latin developed into modern French, Spanish, and Italian, and deeply affected English as well. Offering a gripping narrative of language change, Solodow charts Latin's course from classical times to the modern era, with focus on the first millennium of the Common Era. Though the Romance languages evolved directly from Latin, Solodow shows how every important feature of Latin's evolution is also reflected in English. His story includes scores of intriguing etymologies, along with many concrete examples of texts, studies, scholars, anecdotes, and historical events; observations on language; and more. Written with crystalline clarity, this book tells the story of the Romance languages for the general reader and to illustrate so amply Latin's many-sided survival in English as well.

• It doesn't talk about the languages, but instead brings them directly before the readers' eyes • It will delight the curious browser no less than the eager devotee, for, while set as a sweeping narrative, it also aims to present something of immediate interest on every page • It takes by the hand even readers who know nothing about the languages and leads them clearly, comfortably, and engagingly through the whole saga


1. Introduction: is English a cousin to the Romance languages?; Part I. Latin: 2. The career of Latin, I: from earliest times to the height of empire; 3. The career of Latin, II: the empire succeeded by barbarian kingdoms; 4. Latin at work, I: nature of the language; names and qualities; pronunciation; 5. Latin at work, II: actions and states; 6. Vulgar Latin; Part II. The Romance Vocabulary: 7. The lexicon in general; shifts in the meaning of words; 8. Changes in the form of words; 9. When words collide: conflict and resolution in the lexicon; 10. Immigrants: non-Latin words in the Romance languages; Part III. Proto-Romance, or What the Languages Share: 11. The sound of proto-Romance; 12. The noun in proto-Romance; 13. The verb in proto-Romance; Part IV. Earliest Texts and Future Directions, or Where the Languages Diverge: 14. French; 15. Italian; 16. Spanish.

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