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Talk:Le français ne vient pas du latin

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Romance future[edit]

The current text states that the formation of the future tense in Spanish was due to v and b merging in Spanish, but this future tense also exists in other Romance languages where the distinction still exists. Also, TOW says that v and b probably were not pronounced the same in Old Spanish. This seems strange to me.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 21:44, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

The Romance future seems to be the result of the universal substitution of the paraphrase INF + habeo, which was apparently the spoken norm throughout western Romance. Merger of /v/ and /b/ might be easier to relate to the loss of the perfect and imperfect distinction. But that doesn't seem to be the case either; there, the loss of an unstressed vowel is indicated by the usual results. Forms like Spanish amé and amó all but require *amai and *amaut (CL amavi, amavit). Loss of the b/v contrast has nothing to do with what's going on there. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 23:06, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

Germanic words in Romance[edit]

Cortez objects to the idea that words like guerra are Germanic. For instance, he gives a list of words in French, Italian, and the mainstream Germanic etymology, such as guerre/guerra/*werra, marcher/marciare/*markon, and says it's more likely that the Romance words are from Old Italian, since the French words are closer to the Italian than the reconstructed Germanic forms. Also, when the Romance words are similar to Germanic ones, this is because they are derived from Indo-European, not because of borrowing from Germanic. Now, personally I've never found any article or book that clarifies exactly where these Germanic etymologies come from when they are apparently reconstruncted and not actually attested. What arguments are there that these words are from Germanic?--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 06:32, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

"Werra" has a living descendant in (some) Germanic languages - "wirr" or "Wirrnis" which generally means in the ballpark of crazy / confusion / chaos and so on. Not exactly unlikely to have evolved into the word for war in Romance. another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 14:01, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Western Romance added g to *werra because at the time the word was borrowed, spoken Latin could not handle a word with /w/ initial. A /g/ sound was inserted for phonotactic reasons. Another very frequently borrowed word from Germanic is Fr. blanc, It. bianco "white". This has an impeccable IE pedigree (*bʰleg-, 'to shine, be bright'; cf. L flagrare) but the version borrowed into Romance displays the characteristic Germanic /g/ > /k/. The history of the decline and fall of the Western Empire places Franks, Visigoths, Vandals, Langobards, Burgundians, and other speakers of Germanic languages in the area, so there's no mystery about how Germanic words got borrowed into Late Latin and Western Romance. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 14:49, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

BadLinguistics mostly likes it[edit]

With reservations:

all romance languages obviously come from ULTRAFRENCH

Now that I have read the whole link, there is one area where the Rationalwiki disappoints somewhat. That is that Modern Romance languages (especially if you leave out Romanian) do have a lot of things in common that differ from Classical Latin. The explanation for that is that they are the result of descending from Vulgar Latin which innovated some things and areal features (all Romance languages have a "have + past participle" perfect tense, unlike Latin, but so do all German languages so it is likely to be an areal feature of Western Europe). Instead of explaining this, Rationalwiki is playing down the extent to which Romance languages as a whole have things in common that differ from Latin.

Am I right in thinking that Romance languages didn't come from Classical Latin, but Old Latin due to the split into C.Latin and Vulgar Latin?

If they're correct, might be a useful addition / sidenote. Fuzzy "Cat" Potato, Jr. (talk/stalk) 23:34, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

To be honest, I don't know how to explain how Romance became so different, since I'm not a linguist. Cortez emphasizes that it is improbable that Romance evolved in more or less the same way across the entire Roman Empire, and that therefore the language spoken by the Romans originally had no cases, two genders, no -ter suffix, "to have" as an auxiliary, etc. before the expansion of the Roman Empire. I'm not really sure how to counter this.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 01:58, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
I think maybe this might have something to do with Standard Average EuropeanWikipedia?--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 20:03, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
For reference, here is an r/linguistics thread that also mentions this article.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 20:44, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
Just in case someone takes the first reply seriously, "ultrafrench" is a /r/badlinguistics meme.--ZooGuard (talk) 10:25, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

Those section titles...[edit]

...are really too long. Please do something about it.--ZooGuard (talk) 10:23, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

To what extent[edit]

is the difference between 'Latin' and 'Italian' is the 'normal difference' between 'the formal, written language' and the 'more fluid and regionally variant spoken language' - and who was not taught their own language in school? Anna Livia (talk)

There's always been a pretty significant difference there. Again, the poster child for difference between written forms in the contemporary world has to be French, which is a situation approaching frank diglossia. The written language marks grammatical differences that no longer exist in the spoken language. There is a whole set of verb forms that is used only in formal writing. The situation with French strongly resembles the analogous situation in late Latin, where "Latin" was just grammatica, the fancy pants your Romance language put on when you committed it to writing. It was Alcuin at the court of Charlemagne who first realized that it probably was pedagogically better to treat Latin as a foreign language that needed to be taught as something basically different from Romance vernaculars. And the roughly contemporary Oaths of Strasbourg show how wide the gulf had grown by that time. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 23:25, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Given that most people at the time would not be literate in the sense we would use (and we do use the 'newspaper versions' or 'treaty and law version' of our language) is there not an element of truth in Yves Cortez' theory (and the various languages evolving in part from the tribes' original languages combined with 'we speak the lingo proper - them furriners from the next village do not, and let us invent more words that they find it difficult to pronounce')? Anna Livia (talk) 15:21, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
I haven't read Cortez's book, so I'm not hip to the details of his theory. But his argument seems to be about drawing boundaries in bizarre ways that nobody else does. Romance languages descend from spoken Vulgar Latin, not literary Latin. That much is true. But he apparently calls vulgar Latin "Italian", which isn't really true, and obscures the fact that the ancestor of Italian and the ancestor of French-Spanish-Portuguese (Western Romance) split earlier, with the two vernaculars doing things very differently, and Western Romance remained unified for some time after. He also makes odd claims about when a language dies. You could use the same reasoning to claim that English is a dead language, because English spelling is a fossil of a dead phonology we muddle along with. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 17:48, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Factoid from somewhere - when Italy was united only 2% of the peninsula's population spoke Italian. So - there is a component of truth to 'modern Romance languages are more related to 'colloquial ancient world Italian Peninsularian' than 'high formal Latin', and it was probably convenient to have 'a common language from elsewhere' (as with English in India) - but the particular specifics of the theory are wrong. Anna Livia (talk) 19:39, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
The mainstream view (if I am not mistaken) is that Classical Latin was based on a synthetic vernacular that became, towards the Middle Ages, the analytic Romance languages. Cortez, on the other hand, holds that Latin was a separate branch of Italic that left no descendants. According to him, there were originally two vernaculars in Rome: a highly synthetic one (Latin), and an analytic one (Old Italian), which was essentially like the Romance languages. This "Old Italian" had undergone the transformation from synthetic to analytic long before the oldest attested Latin texts (see his claim that PIE was originally spoken in 20,000 BCE) and eventually replaced the vastly different, but contemporaneous, Latin, which thus ceased to be spoken before it came to develop into an analytic language. This is what he means when he says that Latin died out.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 08:18, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Most of us will accept there were 'formal, written Latin' and 'colloquial versions and dialects of Latin' and 'it is now used in the Vatican and various scientific etc contexts and to split the infinitive' and leave it at that. Major obvious problems with the 20k BC 'synthetic' dates - an Ice Age and 'a tad before writing (rather than painting and symbolic representations) was invented.' Anna Livia (talk) 10:57, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
We have a shedload of graffiti in Latin from Pompeii and elsewhere. The inscriptions show the same spread of differences and even overcorrections you have everywhere when a language adopts formal norms that stigmatize other forms as too colloquial for writing. The people who wrote ungrammatical or misspelled Latin on the walls were still speaking and writing Latin. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 17:25, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Between us RWians we can probably come up with many reasons why languages evolve/change over time (the version of Latin used as a common language merging with the local non-Latin and evolving therefrom into a Romance language partly because of the breakdown of long distance communications and limited literacy, particularly amongst 'the peasantry', multiple inventions of 'useful words' - 15 different groups coming across the same thing are likely to come up with 15 different words etc).
As I said in another discussion the other day - by considering the flaws, reasonable sections and improbabilities in 'a theory at a significant angle to the mainstream (or even to reality in general)' one can advance one's understanding (or even discover something new and viable). Anna Livia (talk) 11:41, 10 December 2017 (UTC)