By James Clackson

A spouse to the Latin Language offers a suite of unique essays from overseas students that song the advance and use of the Latin language from its origins to its modern-day usage.

  • Brings jointly contributions from the world over well known classicists, linguists and Latin language specialists
  • Offers, in one quantity, an in depth account of other literary registers of the Latin language
  • Explores the social and political contexts of Latin
  • Includes new debts of the Latin language in mild of recent linguistic theory
  • Supplemented with illustrations protecting the improvement of the Latin alphabet
  • Show description

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Additional info for A Companion to the Latin Language

Sample text

A /a /. The letter names for stop consonants had CV structure; the default vowel was /e /, except for the letters K and Q, which were pronounced with the vowels with which they were most often written, namely A and V. The fricatives – with the exception of H – the nasals, the liquid, and the rhotic had VC structure. The name of the letter X /εks/ ends in a cluster because Latin phonotactic rules did not permit ks – to stand at the beginning of a syllable (word). The pronunciation of the letter names lies at the heart of an Old Latin spelling convention that is first attested in inscriptions of the third century BCE.

Latin texts have reached us through two principal routes. Either the original written form has survived on a medium such as stone, wood, metal or papyrus, or a text has been copied and recopied in an unbroken chain of manuscript transmission. In general, texts in the second category comprise literary works, and those in the first all other forms of documentation (although there are instances where literary works are recorded in inscriptional texts, such as Augustus’ Res Gestae, or where manuscripts preserve sub-literary material).

This is the subject of Bruno Rochette’s chapter. Finally, Giovanbattista Galdi summarises the range of evidence for geographical variations in Latin across the Roman world, in both the republic and the empire. Using the mass of evidence gathered by Adams in his recent book on the diversification of Latin across the Roman world (Adams 2007), Galdi brings out salient features of regional Latin, including an examination of the Latin of the north-eastern provinces of the empire. Galdi’s chapter reminds us of the extraordinary geographical spread of Latin.

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