A fairly good knowledge of a Romance language – while not a prerequisite – is certainly an advantage. A degree of proficiency in Latin is advisable.
Proto-Romance is the reconstructed ancestor of the Romance languages. Though the two are often confused, it is not as the same as Vulgar Latin – the former being a reconstructed while the latter is an actually (if scarcely) attested language. The subject to which this course is dedicated is reconstruction. It is accomplished by means of the comparative method as used elsewhere in historical linguistics (e.g. in Proto-Indo-European studies).
For the reconstruction we shall rely on Portuguese, Castillan, Catalan, Occitan, French, Italian and Romanian, often stressing minor languages or dialects, viz. in the so-called Romania Circumadriatica (Balkanlatein, Vegliot, Ragusan, Istro-Romanian, Friulan, Romagnolo, Central Marchigiano, Dauno, Garganico, Barese, Salentino).
In this course we shall focus on historical phonology examining the sound laws which brought about the modern state of affairs. On occasion we shall explore specific issues in particular Romance languages, such as the issue of diphthongization in Vegliot, and its chronology. A variety of early Romance (Old French, Old Italian, Old Spanish, …) texts such as Serments de Strasbourg, Indovinello veronese, Nodicia de kesos will be read in order to account for the material discussed in class.
Acquiring a thorough knowledge of Proto-Romance phonology and its corresponding phenomena in the Romance languages of today.
Time and date on which the course is offered or a link to the website.
Mode of instruction
2-hour weekly seminar
Asignments (20%) and exam (80 %). MA students will be required to do additional assignments.
Allières, J. 2001. Manuel de linguistique romane. Paris.
Lausberg, H. 1956-62. Romanische Sprachwissenschaft. Berlin. (transl. 1976. Linguistica romanza. Milano)
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