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The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages$
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Adam Ledgeway and Martin Maiden

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199677108

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677108.001.0001

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A structural comparison of Latin and Romance

A structural comparison of Latin and Romance

(p.37) Chapter 4 A structural comparison of Latin and Romance
The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages

Nigel Vincent

Oxford University Press

In contrast to most historically-oriented research on Romance which has focused either on analysing or reconstructing changes that have taken place in the passage from Latin to modern Romance, this chapter compares from a distance the ‘before’ and the ‘after’. The perspective then is not so much diachronic as metachronic: the juxtaposition of patterns over time without an assumption that there is a direct historical connection between them. In terms of linguistic typology, the chapter also highlights how Latin and Romance should not only be compared with each other but that the structures they exhibit should in turn be fitted into the larger space of possible grammars of natural languages. Specific topics dealt with include: Vowels and diphthongs; Nominal morphology and case; Inflection and periphrasis; Conditionals and counterfactuals; Causatives; Non-finite forms; Complementation; Configurationality and analyticity.

Keywords:   Latin, Romance, comparison, metachronic, typology, grammars, change

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