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date: 08 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The history of the Latin language is one of continual deviations from, or attempts at (re)adjustment to, a morphological and syntactical norm we call Classical Latin (CL). This chapter examines briefly the relationship between CL and Vulgar Latin (VL), the question of the linguistic status of Romance, the emergence and nature of Medieval Latin (ML) and the movement, known as humanism, which sought from the fifteenth century onwards to re-establish the language on a basis more clearly imitative of ancient Latin, and led to the classicizing norm we call Neo-Latin. In the case of each of the stages of development (or attempted normalization), the chapter seeks to provide a brief overview of changes to the language, with examples to illustrate them, and to give reasons for the developments discussed.

Keywords: Classical Latin, Vulgar Latin, Proto-Romance, Romance, Medieval Latin, Neo-Latin, Humanism

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