Book Recommendations: History of Romance Languages
November 22, 2005 1:34 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for books on the history of the Romance Languages.

I'd like to learn more about how the Romance languages evolved from Latin. What books should I read on the subject?

I've read this already, and I'd like something that's much more in-depth.
posted by bshort to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This site seems to discuss the evolutionary patterns fairly well, both generally and in slightly greater depth. I don't know if it is quite as rigorous as what you are looking for, though.
posted by jenovus at 1:42 PM on November 22, 2005

No, probably not at all. Never mind.
posted by jenovus at 1:43 PM on November 22, 2005

I haven't read Posner's The Romance Languages (amazon link), but I've read other books in the series that were excellent.
posted by aparrish at 1:44 PM on November 22, 2005

how 'bout this, for a good overview of the Latin language and it's eventual splintering. And then From Latin to Romance in Sound Chards for a detailed description of the process that lead from Classical Latin to each of the modern-day Romance languages. Also, a good introduction to European historical linguistics would be a good resource as well. There are several of those...and I'll post the title of one, once I get off of work and can persue my bookshelf ;)
posted by gnomicPerfect at 1:59 PM on November 22, 2005

The best book I know on this subject is hard to find. During World War II, at around the same time he wrote Mimesis, Erich Auerbach wrote a primer on the development of the Romance languages for Turkish students called Introduction to Romance Languages and Literature: Latin, French, Spanish, Proven├žal, Italian, which was translated in 1961 by Guy Daniels as a Capricorn paperback original. Neither Powell’s nor Amazon seem to have it cheap at the moment, but keep your eyes open.
posted by cgc373 at 2:06 PM on November 22, 2005

You may also want to consider A Course in Romance Linguistics: A Diachronic View, by Frederick B. Agard, and Thaddeus Ferguson's A History of the Romance Vowel Systems Through Paradigmatic Reconstruction for more deeply involved analysis.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:35 PM on November 22, 2005

My linguistics concentration was in Historical (History of IE), and I had to read From Latin to Romance in Sound Chards. I remember it as drrrrryyyyy. But I took a lot from it after I forced my way through it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:50 PM on November 22, 2005

Out of curiosity I looked in at this question and now I am definitely interested in reading some of these as well.

Interestingly, some Moldovan (Romanian speaking) friends of mine said that after 1991 when Moldova gained its independence, there were mandatory (Romance) linguistics classes for most language students, because for 50 years due to Soviet domination, people had been writing Romanian in Moldova using the Cyrillic alphabet.
posted by vkxmai at 5:18 PM on November 22, 2005

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