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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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(p.63) Chapter 6 Classifications
The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages

Georg Bossong

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   classifications, linguistic grouping, continuum, shared features, divisions, historical-comparative, socio-geographical, historico-geographical, typological

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