Are there Romance languages descending from Classical Latin?

Guest   Sun Oct 07, 2007 7:54 pm GMT
Or did Classical Latin die without leaving descents? I've noted that Italian keeps more words which derive from Classic Latin , compared to Spanish and French. These ones tend to be more vulgar. Is Italian the closest living language to Classical Latin in terms of vocabulary, or other aspects?
Guest   Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:37 pm GMT
furrykef   Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:14 am GMT
In a way, they all descend from Classical Latin. Vulgar Latin had to come from somewhere.

I say 'in a way' because, strictly speaking, Classical Latin was only a written language, and therefore has no descendants because Romance languages came from the spoken language. But Classical Latin shares many features of Old Latin, which Vulgar Latin came from.

- Kef
Guest   Mon Oct 08, 2007 2:39 am GMT
let's keep it simple.

Classical Latin = Written form
Vulgar Latin = Spoken Form

Obviously back then only very few people were educated, therefore what people spoke didn't always follow what was written, therefore all Romantic lLanguages are the written form of what people in those areas spoke.

Did everyone get that?
Guest   Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:49 am GMT
The answer is simple: no, there aren't.
Brennus   Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:53 am GMT
There are no Romance languages which descend entirely or directly from Classical Latin. They are all Vulgar Latin descendents with some Classical Latin modifications. All of them have some Germanic and / or Slavic borrowings as well. Through Vulgar Latin also came a few words of Celtic origin like caballus, camisia, carrus, cumba (Catalan coma "depression / small valley") drapellus (French drapeau "flag"), garra (Sp., Port. garra, Roum. gheară "claw"), lancea, legua, sagitta and vervecarus (French berger "sheperd") etc.
R. Prodi   Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:49 am GMT
"Are there Romance languages descending from Classical Latin? Or did Classical Latin die without leaving descents? "


Latin died indeed, but not without leaving descendants. To stay in the picture: In its prime, Classical Latin married Old Germanic. The children were the many vulgar Latin dialects that were to become standard Portugese, French, Italian and Spanish.
Other Indo-European languages like Gaulish, which remained in use until about the 6th century, died without children, while other languages like Russian, Greek or German are still alive.
Guest   Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:57 am GMT
"Gaulish, which remained in use until about the 6th century"

Sure? What about Breton? Isn't it the son of Gaulish?
R. Prodi   Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:14 am GMT
Gaulish was a continental Celtic language. Breton is descended from the Brythonic branch of Insular Celtic languages brought by Romano-British settlers to Brittany, perhaps from the end of the 3rd century onwards. The modern-day language most closely related to Breton is Cornish, followed by Welsh.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breton_language
Brennus   Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:27 pm GMT
Ancient Gaulish survived in the province of Auvergne until as late as the 7th century A.D. This is the region where Gallic hero Vecingetorix came from too.

The exact origns of Breton are unknown however there is a greater probability that it is indigenous to northwestern Gaul rather than being brought over by wayward Britons.

For one thing, the ancient Welsh and Cornish do not appear to have been seafaring peoples from what we know of them. Also, Vulgar Latin loanwords in Breton are of the Gallic rather than British Latin type. Finally, the Britons won a battle over the Anglo-Saxons at Badon hill (Mons Badonicus) so there would really have been no reason for any of them to flee to France.

The wayward Briton theory for the origin of Breton actually dates only from the 19th century. Prior to that time, most European scholars believed it to be a descendent of Ancient Gaulish.
Josh Lalonde   Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:40 pm GMT
<<The exact origns of Breton are unknown however there is a greater probability that it is indigenous to northwestern Gaul rather than being brought over by wayward Britons.>>

Uh...Where did you get that from?

<<The wayward Briton theory for the origin of Breton actually dates only from the 19th century. Prior to that time, most European scholars believed it to be a descendent of Ancient Gaulish.>>
As does scientific linguistics. The theory of evolution only dates from the 19th century; that doesn't make it wrong.
Breton is an Insular Celtic language, according to all modern linguists whose work on the subject I've heard of; this means that it's descended from a language spoken in Britain before the Anglo-Saxons arrived. Its closest relatives are Cornish and Welsh.
Brennus   Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:15 pm GMT
Josh,

Re; "The theory of evolution only dates from the 19th century; that doesn't make it wrong. ''

I think you may be trying to compare apples with oranges here. There is strong evidence in support of Darwin's theories about evolution both in the fossil record and in the development of mammalian embryos. However, there is virtually no evidence to support the Welsh and Cornish origins of the Bretons. Neither historians nor archeologists have any corroborative evidence of a migration by newcomers from Britain to Armorica (or Brittany) in the 5th or 6th century A.D. either in the accounts of contemporary historians or in archeological finds.

*Bret- and *Brit- are common elements in Celtic names. For example, there was an Celtic tribe in northwestern Dacia (Romania) in the 3rd century B.C. called the "Britogalli" but no connection to Britain; and the place name Brito appears in Portugal along with several other place names of Celtic origin: Braga, Coimbra, Nonrega etc. However, here the Celts were the Lusitanians or Celtiberians not the Britons.
Guest   Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:41 pm GMT
Isn't Latin the official language of the Vatican City yet? As in ~not dead~?
furrykef   Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:53 pm GMT
Church Latin is not Classical Latin, though. Only hobbyists and linguists speak Classical Latin. I suppose it might be indeed descended from it, though.

- Kef
R. Prodi   Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:07 pm GMT
"Isn't Latin the official language of the Vatican City yet? As in ~not dead~? "

Latin is dead because its no one's mother tongue since more than 1200 years, even in the Vatican state.