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This book deals systematically with communication problems in the Roman world where numerous languages apart from Latin and Greek were spoken. How did the Romans communicate with their subjects in the remoter parts of the Empire? What linguistic policies did they pursue? Differing forms of bilingualism developed, which had a significant effect on the way the Romans and their subjects thought, spoke and wrote. A wide range of cultural, historical and linguistic questions concerning the varying developments in bilingualism are addressed.Read more
- First systematic attempt to assess the influence of bilingualism on Latin
- First systematic collection of the evidence for languages other than Greek in contact with Latin
- Unique wide-ranging discussion of bilingualism in the Roman world, undertaken in the light of recent work by sociolinguists on bilingualism
Reviews & endorsements
"J.N. Adams solidifies with this imposing book his reputation as the authority on the Latin language."
New England Classical JournalSee more reviews
"...[a] splendid new book..."
The London Review of Books
"The heart of the book comprises a survey of languages in contact with Latin, a detailed analysis of code switching, and a study of the linguistic features Latin developed in contact with other languages. Adams also considers such topics as Latin in Egypt, bilingualism at Delos, and the recently edited bilinguals from the Gallic-Latin pottery at La Gaufesenque. The book has been beautifully produced by Cambridge University Press and is remarkably error-free."
Andrew R. Dyck, Los Angeles
"A marvelously informative study of the contacts between Latin and other languages in the Roman world, exploring the linguistic diversity of the empire on a scale, and at a depth, that no one has done before … An extraordinarily impressive book and a masterful collection of material [demonstrating] just how central the study of language is to any proper understanding of the ancient world."
The Times Literary Supplement
" … J. N. Adams's splendid new book … is essential for all who would study the linguistic situation in the Roman world."
London Review of Books
"… terrific book …."
"… exhaustive, theoretically current, philologically exacting, and methodologically rigorous - a landmark publication."
Language in Society
"Among the most enjoyable features of his book are the unexpected, sometimes minor and obscure, texts that turn out to provide material for innovative study and important conclusions."
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- Date Published: July 2008
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521731515
- length: 866 pages
- dimensions: 224 x 150 x 43 mm
- weight: 1.13kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Languages in contact with Latin
3. Bilingualism, linguistic diversity and language change
4. Latin in Egypt
5. Bilingualism at Delos
6. Bilingualism at La Graufesenque
7. The Latin of a learner (P. Amh. II 26): a case study
8. Some concluding remarks.
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