This chapter undertakes a critical review of the various traditional and more recent classifications of the Romance languages which have been proposed within the literature, examining both external and internal cohesion within the family. In relation to the former, the chapter examines whether Romance forms a typologically coherent linguistic grouping, highlighting to what extent the Romance languages form a continuum of mutually intelligible speech varieties, and the shared features, if any, which serve to bind the group together. In terms of internal cohesion, the chapter examines the linguistic nature of the major divisions and classifications among the Romance languages (whether proposed on historical-comparative grounds, in relation to socio-geographical criteria, historico-geographical criteria, typological criteria, or theory-internal criteria). Specific topics dealt with include: cultural dialects; problems of internal classification; subdivisions of Romance; phonetic reduction and stress type; the partitive; aoristic drift; historical and typological criteria; eastern and western Romània;types of vowel system.
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