ロマンス諸語

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ロマンス
地理的
分布
発祥の旧ラティウム西東ヨーロッパ現在、アメリカの国々の大多数アフリカの一部、東南アジアオセアニアの一部でも話されています。
言語分類インド・ヨーロッパ語族
初期の形
細分化
ISO 639-2 / 5roa
Linguasphere51-(フィロゾン)
Glottologroma1334
Detailed SVG map of the Romance-speaking world.svg
  公用語
  共同公式または他の言語との共存
  文化的または第二言語

ヨーロッパのロマンス諸語

ロマンス諸語(あまり一般的ではラテン語の言語、またはネオラテン語が)から進化した現代的な言語です俗ラテン語第三及び第八世紀の間。[1]これらはインド・ヨーロッパ語族のイタリック語のサブグループですネイティブスピーカーの数で最も広く話されている6つのロマンス諸語は、スペイン語(4億8900万)、ポルトガル語(2億5000万)、フランス語(7700万)、イタリア語(6700万)、ルーマニア語(2400万)、カタロニア語(410万)です。[2])。イタリア語はラテン最も近い国語であり、スペイン語、ルーマニア語、ポルトガルがそれに続き、最も多様なのはフランス語です。国や地域の言語を含むすべてのロマンス諸語を考慮すると、サルデーニャ語、イタリア語、スペイン語はラテン語との差別化が最も少ない3つであり、オック語はフランス語よりもラテン語に近いです。 [3] [4] [5]ただし、すべてのロマンス諸語は、古典ラテン語よりも互いに近いです。

ロマンス諸語のネイティブスピーカーは、主に南北アメリカヨーロッパ、およびアフリカの一部で、世界中に9億人以上います。主要なロマンス諸語にも多くの非ネイティブスピーカーがいて、共通語として広く使用されています[6]これは特にフランス語に当てはまり、中央および西アフリカマダガスカルモーリシャスセイシェルコモロジブチレバノン、および北アフリカ少数言語であるエジプトを除く)で広く使用されています

連続体に存在する言語などの現象に厳密なカテゴリを割り当てることは難しいため、現代のロマンス諸語の数の見積もりは異なります。たとえば、Dalbyは、相互理解可能性の基準に基づいて23をリストしています以下は、それらと追加の現在の生きている言語、および1つの絶滅した言語であるダルメシアンを含みます[7]

名前

The term Romance comes from the Vulgar Latin adverb romanice, "in Roman", derived from romanicus: for instance, in the expression romanice loqui, "to speak in Roman" (that is, the Latin vernacular), contrasted with latine loqui, "to speak in Latin" (Medieval Latin, the conservative version of the language used in writing and formal contexts or as a lingua franca), and with barbarice loqui, "to speak in Barbarian" (the non-Latin languages of the peoples living outside the Roman Empire).[8]この副詞から、ロマンスという名詞が生まれました。これは、最初はロマンス語で書かれたもの、または「ロマンス諸語」に適用されました[9]

サンプル

ロマンス諸語間、およびラテン語とそれらのそれぞれの間の語彙的および文法的類似性は、さまざまなロマンス諸語で同じ意味を持つ以下の例から明らかです

英語 彼女は食事をする前/食事をする前にいつも窓を閉めます。
ラテン語 (Ea)semper antequam cenat fenestramclaudit。
俗ラテン語 Illa / ipsa claudit semper illa fenestra antequa(後で、イタリアのみ、primade cenare
プーリア (Jèdde)akjudesèmbelafenèstreprimedemangè。
アラゴン語 (エラ)zarra siempre a finestra antes decenar。
アルーマニア語 (Ea /Nâsa)ãncljidi/ nkiditotna firida /fireastranintiditsinã。
アストゥリアス語 (エラ)pieslla siempres la ventana enantes decenar。
カンタブリア (エラ)tranca siempri la ventana enantis decenar。
カタロニア語 (エラ)semper tanca la finestra abans desopar。
北コルシカ Ella chjode / chjude semper lu / u purtellu avanti /nanzudicenà
コルシカ南部 Edda / Idda sarra / serra sempri u purteddu nanzu /primadicinà
エミリアンレッジャーノ (Lē)lasèrasèmparsùlafnèstraprimaadsnàr。
エミリアンボロネーゼ (Lî)lasèrasänperlafnèstraprémmaeddṡnèr。
エミリアンピアチェンツァ言語 Adsiralélasèraseimparrafinéstraprimadaseina。
エストレマドゥーラン (エラ)afecha siempri la ventana antis decenal。
フランコプロヴァンス (Le)sarre toltin /tojorlafenétraavandegoutâ/ dinar / sopar。
フランス語 Ellefermetoujourslafenêtreavantededîner/ souper。
フリウリ語 (Jê)e siere simpri ilbarconprindicenâ。
ガリシア語 (Ela)pecha / fecha semper a fiestra / xanela antes decear。
ガッルーラ Idda chjude sempri lubalconiprimmadicinà。
イタリアの (エラ/レイ)chiude(古風な:serra)semper la finestra prima(古風な:avanti)dicenare。
ラディーノ語-スペイン語 אֵילייהסֵירּהסײֵמפּרֵילהבֵֿינטאנהאנטֵיסדֵיסֵינאר。エラ・セラSIEMPREラベンタナアンティデcenar。
ラディン語 Badiot:Ërastlüjdagnoralafinestraimprömadecenè。
Centro Cadore:La sera semper la fenestra gnante dedisna。Auronzo
di Cadore:La sera sempro lafenestradavoidedisnà。
Gherdëina:lvieredanmaiëdacëinaのËilastluj。
レオン語 (Eilla)pecha siempre la ventana primeiru decenare。
リグーリア (Le)saera semper ubarcunprimmadecenà。
ロンバード(東)
(ベルガマスク)
(レ)lasèrasèmpersölafinèstraprimadesenà。
ロンバルド語(西) (リー)lasarasùsemperlafinestraprimmadedisnà/scenà。
マゴウア (Elle)àfàrmtoujourlàfnètàvank'àmanj。
ミランダ語 (Eilha)cerrasiemprelabentana /jinelaatrásdejantar。
ナポリタン Essa'nzerra sempe 'afenestaprimma'ecenà。
ノーマン Llibarretréjouslacrouésiedevauntdedaîner。
オック語 (エラ)barra / tanca sempre /totjornlafenèstraabansdesopar。
ピカード Ale frunmetojoursl'creusèeédvintédsouper。
ピエモンテ牛 Chilaasarasèmperlafnestradnansëdfésin-a/dnansëdsiné。
ポルトガル語 (Ela)fecha semper a janela antes de jantar / cear / comer。
ロマーニャ語 (リア)laciudsëmpralafnèstraprëmaadmagnè。
ルーマニア語 Eaînchideîntotdeaunafereastraînaintedecina。
ロマンシュ語 Ella clauda / serra adina la fanestra avant ch'ellatschainia。
サルデーニャ南部 Issa serrat semp(i)ri sa ventana in antis de cenai
北サルデーニャ語 Issa serrat semper sabentanainantisdechenàre。
サッサリサルデ Edda sarra sempri lubalchoniprimmadizinà。
シチリア Iḍḍancasasempriafinesṭṛaprima'imanciariâsira。
スペイン語 (エラ)siempre cierra la ventana antes de cenar / comer。
トスカーナ Lei chiude semper lafinestraprimadicenà。
ウンブリア語 Lia chiude semper lafinestraprimadecenà。
ベネチアン Ełałasara/serasenprełafenestravantidediznar
ワロン人 Ele sere todi li finiesse divant disoper。
ロマンスベースのクレオールとピジン
ハイチクレオール Litoujoufèmenfenètlaavanlimange。
モーリシャスクレオール Li pou touzour ferm lafnet la avan(li)manze。
セイシェルクレオール Y pou touzour ferm lafnet aven ymanze。
パピアメント語 E muhe semper taseraebentanapromékuekome。
クリオル Êlfechâsemperjanelaantesdejantâ。
チャバカノ語 Taceráélsiempreconlaventanaantesdecená。
パレンケロ Eletacerrásiempreventanaantesdecená。

いくつかの相違は意味の変化から来ています:同じ語根の単語が異なる意味を発達させた場合。たとえば、ポルトガル語frestaは、ラテン語から派生された採光窓「窓」(ひいてはである同族フランス語にfenêtre、イタリアfinestra、ルーマニアfereastrăなど)が、今は「天窓」と「スリット」を意味します。同族語は存在する可能性がありますが、スペイン語のfiniestraのようにまれになっている、または完全に使用されなくなっています。スペイン語とポルトガル語の用語defenestrarは、「から投げる」を意味しfenestrado 「窓がいっぱい」という意味も同じルーツを持っていますが、後でラテン語から借りたものです。

同様に、ポルトガル語もの単語の持つCEAR、イタリアの同族cenareとスペイン語cenarを「食事をする」ための好適な言葉であるが、しかし、ほとんどの品種で「遅い夕食を持っている」の意味で、それを使用していますジャンタル(に関連します19世紀の意味変化のために「食べる」という古風なスペイン語のヤンタルガリシア語には、フィエストラ標準的なポルトガルのフレスタの祖先である中世のフェストラから)と、あまり使用されないベンタザネラの両方があります

イタリア語には、lei(元々は属格)の代わりに、「彼女」を表す他の単語の同族語であるellaという代名詞がありますが、話す際に使用されることはほとんどありません。

スペイン語、アストゥリアス、およびLeoneseベンタナとミランダとサルデーニャbentanaラテン語から来ヴェントゥス「風」(英語の参照ウィンドウ、語源「風の目」)、およびポルトガル語janela、ガリシア語xanela、ミランダjinelaラテン*からianuella「小さな開口部」、ianua「ドア」の派生語

サルデーニャbalcone(のための代替ベンタナ/ bentànaは)旧イタリア語から来て、フランス語など他のロマンス語に似ているバルコン(イタリア語からbalcone)、ポルトガル語balcão、ルーマニア語バルコン、スペイン語バルコン、カタロニア語のBALCOとコルシカBalconiの(ための代替purtellu)。

分類と関連言語

社会的機能的なものではなく、構造的および比較的な基準に基づくロマンス諸語のチャート。FP:フランコプロヴァンス語、IR:イストロルーマニア語。
ラ・スペツィア・リミニ線で分割された東部と西部のロマンス地域
ロマンス諸語と方言

ロマンス諸語の分類は本質的に困難です。言語領域のほとんどが方言連続体であり、場合によっては政治的偏見が作用する可能性があるためです。ラテン語(ロマンス諸語には含まれていません)および古代イタリアのいくつかの絶滅した言語とともに、それらインド・ヨーロッパ語族のイタリック語族を構成しています。[10]

ラテン語
古典ラテン語俗ラテン語教会ラテン語
コンチネンタルロマンスサルデーニャ語
Italo-Westernアフリカロマンス東ロマンス
ウエスタンロマンスイタリック祖語バルカンロマンスダルメシアン
イベロロマンスガロロマンスイタリアの原ルーマニア語
ガリシア・ポルトガル語スペイン語オクシタニーロマンスフランス語ガロ・イタリア語ルーマニア語アルーマニア語
ガリシア語ポルトガル語カタロニア語オック語

提案された部門

開発における変動の程度(非常に保守的から非常に革新的)
フォーム(「歌う」) ラテン語 ヌオロ サルデーニャ イタリアの スペイン語 ポルトガル語 ラングドック 語オック語 古典的なカタロニア語 2 ミラネーゼ ロンバード ルーマニア語 ボロネーゼ エミリアン フランス語
不定詞 カンターレ cantare
[kantare̞]
cantare
[kantare]
cantar
[カンター]
cantar
[kɐtaɾ]
[kɐtaχ] 1
カンタル
[kanˈta]
cantar
[kənta]
[kantaɾ]
カンタル
[kanˈta]
acânta
[akɨnˈta]
cantèr
[kaŋˈtɛːr]
チャンター
[ʃɑ̃ˈte]
過去分詞 cantātum カンタータ
[kanˈtatu]
カンタータ
[kanˈtato]
カンタード
[kanˈtaðọ]
カンタド
[kɐ̃ˈtadu]
[kɐ̃ˈtadʊ]
カンタータ
[kanˈtat]
カンタータ
[kənˈtat]
[kanˈtat]
カンタッド
[kanˈtaː]
cântat
[kɨnˈtat]
カンテ
[kaŋˈtɛː]
シャンテ
[ʃɑ̃ˈte]
動名詞 カンタンダム カンタンデ
[kanˈtandė]
cantando
[kantando]
cantando
[kantando̞]
cantando
[kɐtɐdu]
[kɐtɐdʊ]
カンタント
[kanˈtan]
カンタント
[kənˈtan]
[kanˈtant]
カンタンド
[kanˈtant]
cântând
[kɨnˈtɨnd]
cantànd
[kaŋˈtaŋd]
シャンタント
[ʃɑ̃ˈtɑ̃]
1SG インド語 できること カントー
[ˈkanto̞]
カント
[ˈkanto]
カントー
[ˈkanto̞]
カント
[ˈkɐ̃tu]
[ˈkɐ̃tʊ]
カンテ
[ˈkante]
カント
[ˈkan]
[ˈkant]
カンティ
[kanti]
cânt
[ˈkɨnt]
3カント
[カント]
シャンテ
[ʃɑt]
2SG インド語 カンタース カンタス
[ˈkantaza]
カンティ
[kanti]
カンタス
[ˈkantas]
カンタス
[ˈkɐ̃tɐʃ]
[ˈkɐ̃tɐs]
カンタス
[ˈkantɔs]
カンテス
[ˈkantəs]
[ˈkantes]
カンテ
[ˈkantɛt]
cânți
[ˈkɨntsʲ]
tカント
[tˈkaŋt]
chantes
[ˈʃɑ̃t]
3SG インド語 カンタット カンタータ
[ˈkantata]
カンタ
[ˈkanta]
カンタ
[ˈkanta]
カンタ
[ˈkɐ̃tɐ]
カンタ
[ˈkantɔ]
カンタ
[ˈkantə] [ˈkanta
]
カンタ
[ˈkantɔ]
cântă
[ˈkɨntə]
al canta
[al ˈkaŋtɐ]
シャンテ
[ʃɑt]
1PL インド語 cantāmus カンタムス
[kanˈtamuzu]
カンティアモ
[kanˈtjamo]
カンタモス
[kanˈtamo̞s]
カンタモス
[kɐ̃ˈtɐmuʃ]
[kɐ̃ˈtɐ̃mʊs]
カンタム
[kanˈtam]
カンタム
[kənˈtam]
[kanˈtam]
カントム
[ˈkantum、kanˈtum]
cântăm
[kɨnˈtəm]
カンタン
[akaŋˈtɛ̃]
シャントン
[ʃɑ̃ˈtɔ̃]
2PL インド語 cantātis カンタータ
[kanˈtate̞ze̞]
カンタータ
[kanˈtate]
cantáis
[kanˈtajs]
カンタイス
[kɐ̃ˈtajʃ]
[kɐ̃ˈtajs]
カンタッツ
[kanˈtats]
カンタウ
[kənˈtaw]
[kanˈtaw]
カンテフ
[kanˈteː(f)]
cântați
[kɨnˈtatsʲ]
カンテ
[akaŋˈtɛ:]
シャンテス
[ʃɑ̃ˈte]
3PL インド語 カンタント カンタント
[ˈkantana]
カンターノ
[ˈkantano]
カンタン
[ˈkantan]
カンタム
[ˈkɐ̃tɐ̃w̃]
カンタン
[ˈkantan]
寒天
[ˈkantən]
[ˈkanten]
カンテン/カンタ
[ˈkantɛn、ˈkantɔ]
cântă
[ˈkɨntə]
icànten
[iˈkaŋtɐn]
chantent
[ˈʃɑ̃t]
1SG SBJV カンテム カンテ
[ˈkante̞]
カンティ
[kanti]
カンテ
[ˈkante̞]
カンテ
[ˈkɐ̃tɨ]
[ˈkɐ̃tᶴi]
カンテ
[ˈkante]
カント
[ˈkan]
[ˈkant]
カンタ
[ˈkantɔ]
cânt
[ˈkɨnt]
カンタ
[aˈkaŋtɐ]
シャンテ
[ʃɑt]
2SG SBJV cantēs カンテス
[ˈkantėze̞]
カンティ
[kanti]
カンテ
[ˈkantès]
カンテス
[ˈkɐ̃tɨʃ]
[ˈkɐ̃tᶴis]
カンテス
[ˈkantes]
カンテス
[ˈkantəs]
[ˈkantes]
カンテ
[ˈkantɛt]
cânți
[ˈkɨntsʲ]
tカント
[tˈkaŋt]
chantes
[ˈʃɑ̃t]
3SG SBJV カンテ カンテ
[ˈkantėtē]
カンティ
[kanti]
カンテ
[ˈkante̞]
カンテ
[ˈkɐ̃tɨ]
[ˈkɐ̃tᶴi]
カンテ
[ˈkante]
カント
[ˈkan]
[ˈkant]
カンタ
[ˈkantɔ]
cânte
[ˈkɨnte̞]
al canta
[al ˈkaŋtɐ]
シャンテ
[ʃɑt]
1PL SBJV cantēmus カンテムス
[kanˈte̞muzu]
カンティアモ
[kanˈtjamo]
カンテモス
[kanˈte̞mo̞s]
カンテモス
[kɐ̃ˈtemuʃ]
[kɐ̃ˈtẽmʊs]
カンテム
[kanˈtem]
カンテム
[kənˈtəm]
[kənˈtɛm]
[kanˈtem]
カントム
[ˈkantum、kanˈtum]
cântăm
[kɨnˈtəm]
カンタグナ
[akɐnˈtaɲɲɐ]
chantions
[ʃɑ̃ˈtjɔ̃]
2PL SBJV cantētis カンテティス
[kanˈte̞tizi]
カンティエート
[kanˈtjate]
cantéis
[kanˈte̞js]
canteis
[kɐ̃ˈtejʃ]
[kɐ̃ˈtejs]
カンテッツ
[kanˈtets]
canteu
[kənˈtəw]
[kənˈtɛw]
[kanˈtew]
カンテフ
[kanˈteː(f)]
cântați
[kɨnˈtatsʲ]
カンテディ
[akaŋˈtɛ:di]
シャンティエズ
[ʃɑ̃ˈtje]
3PL SBJV カンテント カンテント
[ˈkantėnē]
cantino
[kantino]
寒天
[ˈkantėn]
カンテム
[ˈkɐ̃tẽj̃]
寒天
[ˈkanten]
寒天
[ˈkantən]
[ˈkanten]
カンテン/カンタ
[ˈkantɛn、ˈkantɔ]
cânte
[ˈkɨnte̞]
icànten
[iˈkaŋtɐn]
chantent
[ˈʃɑ̃t]
2SG命令 カンター カンタ
[ˈkanta]
カンタ
[ˈkanta]
カンタ
[ˈkanta]
カンタ
[ˈkɐ̃tɐ]
カンタ
[ˈkantɔ]
カンタ
[ˈkantə] [ˈkanta
]
カンタ
[ˈkantɔ]
cântă
[ˈkɨntə]
カンタ
[ˈkaŋtɐ]
シャンテ
[ʃɑt]
2PL命令 カンタータ カンタータ
[kanˈtate̞]
カンタータ
[kanˈtate]
カンタッド
[kanˈtað]
カンタイ
[kɐ̃ˈtaj]
カンタッツ
[kanˈtats]
カンタウ
[kənˈtaw]
[kanˈtaw]
カンテフ
[kanˈteːn(f)]
cântați
[kɨnˈtatsʲ]
カンテ
[kaŋˈtɛ:]
シャンテス
[ʃɑ̃ˈte]
1またɾ̥ R ɻ̝̊ X ħ hは]すべての可能なの異音である[ɾ】この位置で、ならびに子音の削除。
2その活用モデルは、カタルーニャバレンシアコミュニティバレアレス諸島使用されている現代の活用ではなく、中世にさかのぼる古典的なモデルに基づいています。
3ボロネーゼの共役動詞には、動詞に批判さたストレスのない主語代名詞が必要です。さらに、完全な形式を使用することもできます。したがって、「あなた(pl。)を食べる」はマグネまたはvuèteramagnèですが、bare * magnèは文法的ではありません。疑問詞には必要ですが語の形式を複製できない場合がありますmagnèv「あなた(pl。)は食べていますか?/あなた(pl。)は食べていますか?」

ロマンス諸語を細分化するために使用されるさまざまなスキームがあります。最も一般的なスキームの3つは次のとおりです。

  • Italo-Western vs. Eastern vs.Southern。これはエスノローグが従うスキームであり、主に古典ラテン語の10個の単音母音の結果に基づいています。これについては、以下で詳しく説明します
  • 西対東。このスキームは、フィレンツェ市のすぐ北にあるイタリア中北部を横切るラ・スペツィア・リミニ線沿ってさまざまな言語を分割します(そのスピーチは標準的なイタリア語の基礎を形成します)。このスキームでは、「東」にはイタリア中部と南部の言語が含まれ、ルーマニア、ギリシャ、およびバルカンの他の場所バルカンロマンス(または「東ロマンス」)言語が含まれます。 「西」には、ポルトガル、スペイン、フランス、北イタリア、スイスの言語が含まれます。サルデーニャ語はこのスキームに簡単には適合しません。
  • 保守的」対「革新的」。これは非遺伝的区分であり、その正確な境界については議論の余地があります。一般に、ガロロマンス諸語(以下でさらに説明)はコアの「革新的な」言語を形成し、標準フランス語は一般にすべての中で最も革新的であると考えられていますが、周辺の言語(スペイン語、ポルトガル語、イタリア語、ルーマニア語を含む)は「保守的"。サルデーニャ語は一般的に最も保守的なロマンス諸語として認められており、おそらく紀元前1世紀には、他の言語から遺伝的に分離した最初の言語でもありました。ダンテサルデーニャ人を軽蔑したことで有名です彼らのスピーチの保守性のために、彼らは「サルが男性を模倣するように」ラテン語を模倣すると述べた。[11] [12]

Italo-Western vs. Eastern vs. Sardinian

ロマンス諸語のさまざまな分類スキーム内でエスノローグによって提案された主なサブファミリーは次のとおりです。

  • Italo-Westernは、カタロニア語、ポルトガル語、イタリア語、スペイン語、フランス語などの言語を含む最大のグループです。
  • ルーマニア語などの東ヨーロッパのロマンス諸語を含む東ロマンス語。
  • サルデーニャ語や、一部の著者によると、コルシカ語など、特に保守的な機能を備えたいくつかの言語が含まれている南部ロマンスこの家族には、現在は消滅している北アフリカのロマンス諸語が含まれていると考えられています(または、少なくとも、いくつかの音韻的特徴とその母音を同じように進化させたようです)。

この3方向の分割は、主に俗ラテン語(祖語)の母音の結果に基づいて行われます。

古典ラテン語の母音の結果
古典ラテン語 祖語ロマンス 南方の Italo-Western 東部
長い私 /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/
短い私 /NS/ / e / / e /
長いE /ɛː/ / e /
短いE /ɛ/ /ɛ/ /ɛ/
短いA /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/
長いA /NS/
短いO /ɔ/ / o / /ɔ/ / o /
長いO /ɔː/ / o /
短いU / u / / u / / u /
長いU /uː/ / u /

Italo-Westernは、イタリア北部のいわゆるラ・スペツィア・リミニ線沿って分割されています。このは、イタリア中部と南部の言語を、いわゆる西ロマンス語から北と西に分けています。2つを分ける主な特徴は次のとおりです。

  • 母音間子音音素弱化。これは北西では発生しますが、南東では発生しません。
  • 促音ジェミネート停止のではなく、南東に再び北西に起こった、(新しいintervocalic単一無声を生産するには、古いものがlenitedた後、停止します)。
  • 再び北西部で、南東部ではなく、強勢間母音(強調された音節と最初または最後の音節の間)の削除。
  • 北西部の/ s /での複数形の使用と、南東部での母音変化を使用した複数形の使用。
  • 北西部の/ e、i /から/(t)s /の前の口蓋化された/ k /と南東部の/tʃ/の発達
  • / kt /の開発。これは、北西では/ xt / > / it /(場合によっては/tʃ/にさらに進行)に発展しますが、南東では/ tt /発展します。

現実はやや複雑です。すべての「南東」の特性は、ラインの南東のすべての言語に適用され、すべての「北西」の特性は、フランスと(ほとんどの)スペインのすべての言語に適用されます。ただし、ガロ・イタリア語はその中間にあります。これらの言語はすべて、子音弱化と子音弱化の「北西」の特徴を持っています。でも:

  • Gallo‒Italic言語には、/ s /複数形ではなく、母音を変更する複数形があります。
  • イタリア中北部ロンバルド語とレト・ロマンス語は、口蓋化された/ k /の/(t)s /ではなく/tʃ/の「南東」特性を持っています。
  • イタリア北東部ベネチア語と一部のレト・ロマンス語には、/ kt /から/ tt /を開発するという「南東」の特徴があります。
  • ポストボーカル/ ptk /の子音弱化は、コルシカ島とサルデーニャ島の大部分を含む、ラ・スペツィア・リミニ線より下のイタリアで異音の音声認識として広まっています。

これに加えて、スペイン南部の古代モサラベ語は、「北西」グループの遠端にあり、子音弱化の欠如と/ k /から/tʃ/への口蓋化という「南東」の特徴を持っていましたピレネー周辺の特定の言語(たとえば、一部の高地アラゴン方言)も子音弱化がなく、ノーマンピカードなどの北フランス方言は/ k /から/tʃ/への口蓋化があります(ただし、/ k /以降、これはおそらく独立した二次的な開発です)母音の間、つまり子音弱化の対象となる場合、一次発達で予想されるように、/dʒ/ではなく/ dz /に発達します)。

これらの問題の通常の解決策は、さまざまなネストされたサブグループを作成することです。西ロマンス語は、子音弱化が発生し、ほぼすべての西ロマンス語を含むガロ・イベリア語と、子音弱化のない残りの言語を含むピレネー・モサラベ語グループに分けられます(おそらく有効なクレードではないでしょう。少なくとも2つのクレード(1つはモサラベ語用、もう1つはピレネー用)。 Gallo-Iberianは、イベリア言語(スペイン語ポルトガル語など)と、より大きなGallo-Romance言語(スペイン東部からイタリア北東部に広がる)に分割されます

しかし、おそらくもっと正確な説明は、フランス中部にイノベーションの焦点があり、そこから一連のイノベーションが地域の変化として広がったということでしょうラ・スペツィア-リミニラインは、これらの技術革新は、北部のチェーンに対応し、到達したことを南東に最遠点を表すアペニン山脈ストレートイタリア北部を横断すると、さらに言語の普及に大きな地理的な障壁を形成します。

これは、「北西」の機能の一部(ほとんどすべてがイノベーションとして特徴付けられる)がイタリア北部のさまざまな場所で終わる理由と、スペインの地理的に離れた地域(南部、およびピレネー山脈)はこれらの機能のいくつかを欠いています。また、フランスの言語(特に標準フランス語)が他の西ロマンス語よりも早く、より広範囲に革新されたように見える理由も説明します。

「南東」機能の多くは、地理的な不連続性にもかかわらず、東ロマンス語(特にルーマニア語)にも適用されます。例としては、子音弱化の欠如、音調間母音の維持、母音を変える複数形の使用、/ k /から/tʃ/への口蓋化などがあります。これは、ヴァルターフォンヴァルトブルクに続いて、一部の研究者を導きました、ルーマニア語と中央および南イタリア語を含む「東」言語で、基本的な双方向の東西分割を仮定しますが、この見解は、ラ・スペツィアの下のイタリアで見られるものとの多数のルーマニア語の音韻論的発展の対比によって悩まされています-リミニライン。これらの特徴の中で、ルーマニアの長子音は歴史的に単一のユニットに縮小されました-これは独立した開発であるか、おそらくスラブの影響による可能性があります-そして/ kt /は/ pt /に開発されましたが、イタリア中部と南部では長子音は保存され、/ kt /が実行されました/ tt /への同化。[13]

話されているラテン語から分岐した最初のロマンス諸語であるにもかかわらず[14]、 サルデーニャ語はこの種の区分にまったく適合しません。[15]サルデーニャ語が、おそらく紀元前1世紀までに、非常に早い時期に他のロマンス諸語から言語的に独立したことは明らかです。[16]サルデーニャ語には、/ k /と/ g /の口蓋化がまったくないことや、古典ラテン語(紀元前1世紀)までにすでに古風なものを含む、他のどこにも保存されていない大量の語彙など、古風な特徴が多数含まれています。 )。サルデーニャ語は/ s /に複数形がありますが、無声子音の発声後の子音弱化は通常、異音規則のステータスに制限されます(例:[k] ane'dog 'butsu [g] aneまたはsu [ɣ] ane'the dog ')であり、/ au /から/ a /への変更など、他では見られない革新がいくつかあります。記事としてsu < ipsumの使用はバレアレス諸島のカタロニア語にも存在し、オクシタニーロマンスでより広く普及していた古風な特徴であり記事サラット [ ca ](文字通り「塩漬け記事」)として知られています。 ")、サルデーニャ語は以前の/ kw /と/ gw /の開発をルーマニア語:Sardと共有しています。アバ、ラム酒。apă '水';サード。リンバ、ロム。limbă「言語」(イタリア語のアクアlinguaを参照)。

南イタリア、サルデーニャ、コルシカの方言

南イタリア、サルデーニャ、コルシカの方言における強調された古典ラテン語の母音の結果
古典ラテン語 祖語ロマンス セニセセ カステルメッツァーノ ナポリタン シチリア 動詞-carese Caro-vignese ヌオロサルデーニャ コルシカ南部 タラボコルシカ 北コルシカ コルス岬
NS /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /ɪ/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/
NS /NS/ / e / / e / /ɛ/ /ɛ/ / e / / e /
ēoe̯ /ɛː/ /ɛ/ /ɪ/(/ɛ/) /ɛ/ / e / / e /
ëAE /ɛ/ /ɛ/ /ɛ/ /ɛ/ /ɛ/ / e /(/ɛ/)
NS /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/ /NS/
NS /NS/
au̯ / aw / /ɔ/? / o /? /ɔ/? /ɔ/? /ɔ/? /ɔ/? /ɔ/ / o /? /ɔ/? / o /?
ŏ /ɔ/ /ɔ/ / o / /ɔ/ /ɔ/ /ɔ/ /ɔ/ /ɔ/ / o / / o / /ɔ/ / o /
ōau̯ /ɔː/ / o / / u / /ʊ/(/ɔ/) / o /
ǔ / u / / u / / u / /ʊ/ / u / / u / /ɔ/
ū /uː/ / u / / u / / u / / u / / u /

サルデーニャ語タイプの母語系は、南イタリアのバジリカータ州南部ラウスベルク地域 [それ]ラウスベルクゾーンとしても知られていますナポリ語§分布と比較してください)に属する小さな地域にも見られ、ルーマニア語の証拠があります。 -タイプの「妥協」母語体系は、かつては南イタリアのほとんどの特徴でしたが[17]、現在はバジリカータ州西部のカステルメッツァーノ方言を中心とする小さな地域に限定されています。この地域は、ドイツ語で「ヴォルポステン」呼ばれています。前哨基地」。シチリア母音システムは、現在一般的にItalo-Westernシステムに基づく開発であると考えられており、イタリア南部、チレント南部カラブリアプーリアの南端にも見られ、過去により広まった可能性があります。[18]

イタリア南部以外で最も多様な母音システムはコルシカ島にあります。コルシカ島では、北と中央のほとんどにItalo-Westernタイプ、南にサルデーニャタイプがあり、シチリアの母音システムに似ています。コルス岬地域; 最後に、Italo-WesternシステムとSardinianシステムの間に、Taravo地域で、他のシステムから派生できない完全にユニークな母音システムがあります。これは、ほとんどの場合サルデーニャ語のような反射を持ちますが、ラテン語の短い高母音です。中低母音として独自に反映されます。[19]

ガロロマンス諸語

Gallo-Romanceは、次のサブグループに分類できます。

次のグループも、ガロロマンスの一部と見なされることがあります。

ガロロマンス諸語は、一般に、ロマンス諸語の中で最も革新的(最も保守的でない)と見なされています。特徴的なガロロマンスの特徴は、一般的に最も早く発達し、オイル語で最も極端な症状で現れ、川や高山横断道路に沿って徐々に広がっています。

ただし、いくつかの点で、ガロロマンス諸語は保守的です。多くの言語の古い段階では、主格と斜格で構成され、名詞、形容詞、限定詞に完全にマークされ、ラテン語の主格と対格からほぼ直接継承され、さまざまな曲用クラスと不規則な形式が保持された2つのケースシステムが保持されていました。オイルの震源地に最も近い言語は格システムを最もよく保存しますが、周辺の言語はそれを早期に失います。

ガロロマンス諸語の注目すべき特徴は次のとおりです。

  • / a /以外のストレスのない最終母音の早期喪失—グループの明確な特徴。
  • 単語の内部にあるストレスのない母音の早期の大幅削減(別の明確な特徴)。
  • 最終母音の喪失は、強調された開いた音節の自動付随物であった長い母音を音化した。これらの音素の長い母音は、多くの北イタリアの方言で直接維持されます。他の場所では、音素の長さが失われましたが、その間に長い母音の多くが二音化され、元の区別が維持されました。オイル語のブランチは再び革新の最前線にあり、7つの長い母音のうち5つ以上が二音化しています(高母音のみが免れました)。
  • ガロロマンスのすべての枝には、正面の丸い母音があります。/ u /は通常/ y /の前にあり、2番目の円唇前舌中央部は長い/oː/または/ɔː/から発達することがよくあります。
  • Extreme lenition (i.e. multiple rounds of lenition) occurs in many languages especially in Langue d'oïl and many Gallo-Italian languages.
  • The Langue d'oïl, Swiss Rhaeto-Romance languages and many of the northern dialects of Occitan have a secondary palatalization of /k/ and /ɡ/ before /a/, producing different results from the primary Romance palatalization: e.g. centum "hundred" > cent /sɑ̃/, cantum "song" > chant /ʃɑ̃/.
  • 以外のオクシタニー・カタロニア語(ロマンス諸語のすべての残りの部分であるのに対し、最もガロ・ロマンス語は、対象-義務ですプロドロップ言語)。これは、進行性の音声侵食によって引き起こされた後期の開発です。古フランス語は依然として主語がない言語であり、これは、中世フランス語で二次的に最後の子音が失われたときにのみ変更されました。

ピジン、クレオール、および混合言語

一部のロマンス言語は、文法に関して劇的に再構築された、または他の言語との混合であるように見える品種を開発しました。フランス語スペイン語ポルトガル語を起源する数十のクレオールがあり、そのうちのいくつかはかつてのヨーロッパの植民地で公用語として話されていました

フランス語のクレオール:

スペイン語のクレオール語:

ポルトガル語のクレオール:

助動詞と人工言語

ラテン語とロマンス諸語は、いわゆる「ネオロマンス諸語」と呼ばれる多くの補助言語と人工言語のインスピレーションと基礎としても機能しています。[20] [21]

このコンセプトは、1903年にイタリアの数学者ジュゼッペペアノによってラテン語のsineflexioneというタイトルで最初に開発されました[22]彼は、語彙目録と単語の派生を最大限に単純化するために設計されたエスペラントヴォラピュクのような自律的に構築された言語とは対照的に自然主義的な国際言語を作成したかった。ピーノはラテン語を彼の言語のベースとして使用しました。なぜなら、彼の繁栄の時、それは科学コミュニケーションの事実上の国際言語だったからです。[疑わしい]

開発された他の言語には、Idiom Neutral(1902)、Interlingue -Occidental(1922)、Interlingua(1951)、Lingua Franca Nova(1998)が含まれます。これらの中で最も有名で成功しているのはインターリングアです。[要出典]これらの各言語は、生きているロマンス諸語に可能な限り一般的な疑似ラテン語の語彙を実現するために、さまざまな程度で試みてきました。一部の言語は、ロマンス諸語、パンロマンス諸語の話者間のコミュニケーションのために特別に構築されています

Talossanなど、芸術目的でのみ作成された言語もありますラテン語は非常によく証明された古代言語であるため、一部のアマチュア言語学者は、他の先祖の言語から発展した実際の言語を反映したロマンス諸語を構築しました。これらには、Brithenigウェールズ語を反映)、Breathanach [23]アイルランド語を反映)、Wenedykポーランド語を反映)、Þrjótrunn(アイスランド語を反映)、[24]、Helvetian(ドイツ語を反映)が含まれます。[25]

現代のステータス

20世紀のロマンス諸語のヨーロッパの広がり
合計6億9000万人の一部としての、各ロマンス諸語のネイティブスピーカーの数(2007年)

今日ネイティブに最も広く話されているロマンス諸語スペイン語であり、ポルトガル語フランス語イタリア語ルーマニアが続きます。これらは一緒になってヨーロッパとそれ以降の広大な領域をカバーし、数十か国で公用および国語として機能します。

世界のロマンス諸語

フランス語、イタリア語、ポルトガル語、スペイン語、ルーマニア語も欧州連合の公式言語です。スペイン語、ポルトガル語、フランス語、イタリア語、ルーマニア語、カタロニア語は、廃止されたラテン連合の公式言語でした。フランス語とスペイン語は、国連の6つの公用語のうちの2つです。ヨーロッパ以外では、フランス語ポルトガル語スペイン語が話されており、それぞれの植民地帝国から出現したさまざまな国で公式の地位を享受しています

スペイン語はスペイン南アメリカの9か国の公用語であり、その大陸の人口の約半分が住んでいます。中央アメリカの6か国ベリーズを除くすべて);そしてメキシコで。ではカリブ海、それは公式であるキューバドミニカ共和国、およびプエルトリコ。これらすべての国で、ラテンアメリカスペイン語は人口の大多数の自国語であり、スペイン語をロマンス諸語の中で最もネイティブな話者にしています。アフリカでは、赤道ギニアの公用語です

ポルトガル語は、元の故郷であるポルトガルで、事実上1,000万人の全人口によって話されています。ブラジルの公用語として、その国の2億人以上の人々、およびパラグアイ東部ウルグアイ北部の近隣住民によって話されており、南アメリカの人口の半分強を占めているため、ポルトガル語は単一の国で最も話されている公式のロマンス言語。アフリカの6か国(アンゴラカーボベルデギニアビサウモザンビーク赤道ギニアSão Tomé and Príncipe), and is spoken as a first language by perhaps 30 million residents of that continent.[26] In Asia, Portuguese is co-official with other languages in East Timor and Macau, while most Portuguese-speakers in Asia—some 400,000[27]—are in Japan due to return immigration of Japanese Brazilians. In North America 1,000,000 people speak Portuguese as their home language.[28] In Oceania, Portuguese is the second most spoken Romance language, after French, due mainly to the number of speakers in East Timor. Its closest relative, Galician, has official status in the スペインと一緒にスペインガリシアの自治コミュニティ

ヨーロッパ以外では、フランス語はカナダのケベック州、およびニューブランズウィック州オンタリオ州の一部でネイティブに話されていますカナダは公式にバイリンガルであり、フランス語と英語が公用語です。ハイチなどのカリブ海地域では、フランス語が正式な地位にありますが、ほとんどの人は母国語としてハイチクレオールなどのクレオール語を話します。フランス語はまた、アフリカの多くで公式の地位を持っており、ネイティブスピーカーは比較的少ないですが、第二言語スピーカーの数は多くなっています。フランスの残りの海外所有物では、フランス語のネイティブ使用が増加しています。

が、イタリアはまた、前にいくつかの植民地を持っていた第二次世界大戦、その言語は、植民地支配の終了後に公式残りませんでした。その結果、イタリア語、イタリアとスイスの外側が、今では移民のコミュニティでのみ少数言語として話されている南アメリカオーストラリア。アフリカのいくつかの元イタリア植民地、すなわちリビアエリトリアソマリアでは、それは商業と政府の数人の教育を受けた人々によって話されています。

ルーマニアは植民地帝国を設立しませんでしたが、南東ヨーロッパの母国の領土を超えて、ルーマニア語はセルビア、ブルガリア、ハンガリー、および旧大ルーマニアの一部(1945年以前)の自生の人口によって少数言語として話されています、およびウクライナ(ブコヴィナブジャク)、およびドニエストル川バグ川の間のいくつかの村で[29]アルーマニア語はで今日話されてアルーマニア人ブルガリア、マケドニア、アルバニア、コソボ、ギリシャ。[30]ルーマニア語は、地中海の他の国々(特に他のロマンス語圏の国々、特にイタリアスペイン)や、人口の5%の母国語であるイスラエルなどの他の国々にも広がり[31]、話されています。第二言語としてもっとたくさん。これは第二次世界大戦後にイスラエルに移住したルーマニア生まれのユダヤ人多数いるためです。[32]そして最後に、旧ソビエト共和国モルドバの約260万人が、さまざまなモルドバ語またはルーマニア語と呼ばれるさまざまなルーマニア語を話します。

ロマンス諸語のネイティブスピーカーの総数は次のように分けられます(括弧内に世界の言語内でのランキングがあります):[33] [34]

カタロニア語はアンドラの公用語です。スペインでは、カタルーニャバレンシアコミュニティバレアレス諸島でスペイン語と共同公式であり、ラフランハアラゴンでは公式ではありませんが認識されています。さらに、サルデーニャ島のアルゲーロの多くの住民によって話されており、その都市では共同公式です。ガリシア語は、100万人以上のネイティブスピーカーを擁し、スペイン語とともにガリシア公式に活動しておりカスティーリャイレオンの近隣地域で法的に認められています。。他のいくつかの言語は、地域レベルまたはその他の限定されたレベルで公式に認められています。たとえば、スペインのアストゥリアス語アラゴン語ポルトガルのミランダ語;フリウリサルデーニャフランコ・プロバンスイタリアで。そしてロマンシュスイスインチ

残りのロマンス諸語は、ほとんどの場合、非公式な接触のための話し言葉として存続します。各国政府は歴史的に、言語の多様性を経済的、行政的、または軍事的責任、ならびに分離主義運動の潜在的な源泉と見なしてきました。したがって、彼らは一般に、公用語の使用を広範に促進し、メディアでの他の言語の使用を制限し、それらを単なる「方言」として認識し、さらには迫害することによって、それを排除するために戦ってきました。その結果、これらの言語はすべて、ユネスコの絶滅危惧言語レッドブックによると、「脆弱」(シチリア語ベネチアなど)から「重大な危険」(重大な危険)まで、さまざまな程度で絶滅の危機に瀕していると見なされています。Franco-Provençal、ほとんどのオック語の品種)。20世紀後半から21世紀初頭にかけて、マイノリティの権利に対する感受性が高まったことで、これらの言語の一部は名声を取り戻し、権利を失い始めました。しかし、これらの政治的変化が少数派のロマンス諸語の衰退を逆転させるのに十分であるかどうかは不明です。

歴史

ロマンス言語はの継続している俗ラテン語、人気や口語sociolectラテン語で話さ兵士、入植者、および商人ローマ帝国と区別して、言語の古典形で話さローマの上流階級、これでフォーム言語は一般的に書かれていました。[14]紀元前350年から西暦150年の間に、帝国の拡大は、その行政および教育政策とともに、ラテン語を西ヨーロッパ大陸の主要な母国語にしました。ラテン語もイギリス南東部で強い影響を及ぼしましアフリカのローマの州西ドイツパンノニアおよびバルカン半島全体

帝国の衰退の間、そして5世紀と6世紀にその断片化と西半分の崩壊の後、ラテン語の話された品種は互いにより孤立し、西方言はゲルマンの強い影響を受けました(ゴート族とフランク族特に)そしてスラブの影響下にある東方言。[35] [36]方言は古典ラテン語から加速的に分岐し、最終的には認識できるほど異なる類型の連続体に進化した。ポルトガルスペインフランスによって設立された植民地帝国15世紀以降、ロマンス諸語を話すすべての人の約3分の2がヨーロッパ以外に住むように、他の大陸に言語を広めました。

(例えば他の影響にもかかわらず、基層前ローマン言語、特にから大陸ケルト語、およびsuperstratum後でからゲルマンスラブ、侵略)音韻論形態学、および辞書すべてのロマンス諸語のは俗ラテン語の進化の形で主に構成されています。ただし、今日のロマンス諸語とその祖先の間には、いくつかの顕著な違いがあります。 1つまたは2つの例外を除いて、ロマンス諸語はラテン語曲用システムを失い、その結果、SVO文構造を持ち、前置詞を広範囲に使用します

俗ラテン語

ローマの支配の長さとロマンス諸語[37]
ヨーロッパのロマンス諸語

包括的な研究の目的で俗ラテン語に関する証拠書類は限られており、文献の解釈や一般化は難しいことがよくあります。その講演者の多くは、兵士、奴隷、避難民、強制移住者であり、ローマの先住民よりも征服された土地の先住民である可能性が高かった。西ヨーロッパでは、ラテン語が徐々にケルト語や他のイタリック語に取って代わりました。これらの言語は、インド・ヨーロッパ語族の共通の起源によって関連付けられていました。構文と語彙の共通性により、ラテン語の採用が容易になりました。[38] [39] [40]

俗ラテン語は、すべてのロマンス諸語に共通する機能のほとんどをすでに備えていると考えられています。これは、ラテン語の文法格体系がほぼ完全に失われ、前置詞に置き換えられるなど、古典ラテン語とは異なります。中性の文法範疇の喪失比較級の抑揚; いくつかの動詞パラダイムをイノベーションに置き換える(たとえば、合成の未来は、現在は不定詞+進化した現在形の「持っている」によって通常形成される元々の分析戦略に取って代わった)。記事の使用; 口蓋化の初期段階 破裂音/ k /、/ g /、および/ t /の。

一部の学者にとって、これは、ロマンス諸語に進化した俗ラテン語の形式がローマ帝国の時代(紀元前1世紀の終わりから)にあり、公式のために予約された書かれた古典ラテン語と一緒に話されたことを示唆していますそして正式な機会。他の学者は、この区別は、通常どの言語にも見られる社会言語学的および登録上の違いを示すものとしてより正しく見られていると主張しています。両者は1つの同じ言語として相互に理解できました。これは、7世紀のほぼ後半まで真実でした。しかし、200年以内にラテンは「ヨーロッパのローマ字化された人々はもはや彼らに読み上げられたり引用されたりしたテキストを理解できなくなった」ので死語になりました[41]。 i.e. Latin had ceased to be a first language and became a foreign language that had to be learned, if the label Latin is constrained to refer to a state of the language frozen in past time and restricted to linguistic features for the most part typical of higher registers.

With the rise of the Roman Empire, Vulgar Latin spread first throughout Italy and then through southern, western, central, and southeastern Europe, and northern Africa along parts of western Asia.[42]:1

Fall of the Western Roman Empire

5世紀の西ローマ帝国の政治的衰退のに、帝国への大規模な移住があり、ラテン語圏の世界はいくつかの独立した州に細分化されました。中央ヨーロッパとバルカン半島は、ゲルマンスラブ族、そしてフン族によって占領されていました。これらの侵入は、ヴラフ人ロマンス語を話すヨーロッパの他の地域から隔離しました

British and African Romance—the forms of Vulgar Latin used in Britain and the Roman province of Africa, where it had been spoken by much of the urban population—disappeared in the Middle Ages (as did Pannonian Romance in what is now Hungary, and Moselle Romance in Germany). But the Germanic tribes that had penetrated Roman Italy, Gaul, and Hispania eventually adopted Latin/Romance and the remnants of the culture of ancient Romeそれらの地域の既存の住民と並んで、ラテン語はそこで支配的な言語のままでした。ラテン語の地域の方言と地域の環境に一部起因して、いくつかの言語がそれから発展しました。[42]4

東ローマ帝国の崩壊

一方、ローマ帝国への大規模な移住は、ゴート族から始まりフン族アヴァールブルガールスラブ族ペチェネグ族ハンガリー人クマンに続いたスラヴ人の侵入は最も徹底的であり、バルカン半島のローマの要素を部分的に減らしました[43]トルコ人 の侵入と1453年コンスタンティノープルの征服は、帝国の終わりを示した。スラヴ人はロマンス圏の人口命名しますヴラフ人は、後者が自分たちを「ルマン」または「ロマン」と呼んでいたが、ラテン語の「ロマヌス」から[44]ダコ・ローマ方言は、ドナウ川の南で話されている3つの方言(アルーマニア語、イストロ・ルーマニア語、メグレノ)とは完全に区別された。-ルーマニア語— 9世紀から10世紀にかけて、ルーマニア人ヴラフ人またはワラキア人と呼ばれることもあります)が人々として出現しました。[45]

初期のロマンス

4世紀から8世紀の間に、音韻論、形態論、構文、および語彙の局所的な変化が蓄積され、どの場所のスピーチも他の場所とは著しく異なるようになりました。原則として、2つのレクト間の差異は、地理的に離れているほど大きくなり、離れたコミュニティの話者間の相互理解が容易になりません。[46]いくつかのレベルの変化の明確な証拠は、音韻形式が変化した、または通常は使用されなくなった4世紀ジェロームのウルガタからの約1,200語の8世紀の編集物であるライヒェナウグロスに見られます。プロトフランコプロヴァンス語の8世紀の同等物. The following are some examples with reflexes in several modern Romance languages for comparison:

English Classical / 4th cent.
(Vulgate)
8th cent.
(Reichenau)
Franco-Provençal French Romansh Italian Spanish Portuguese Romanian Catalan Sardinian Occitan Ladin Neapolitan
once semel una vice una fês une fois (ina giada) (una volta) una vez uma vez (o dată) una vegada
(un cop,
una volta)
(una borta) una fes
(un còp)
n iede na vota
children/infants liberi / infantes infantes enfants enfants unfants (bambini) /
infanti
(niños) /
infantes
infantes (crianças) (copii) (nens, etc.) /
infants
(pipius) / (pitzinnos) enfants mutons criature
to blow flare / sofflare suflare soflar souffler suflar soffiare soplar soprar (a) sufla (bufar) sulai / sulare bufar suflé sciuscià
to sing canere cantare çhantar chanter chantar cantare cantar cantar (a) cânta cantar cantai / cantare cantar cianté cantà
the best (plur.) optimi / meliores meliores los mèljörs les meilleurs ils megliers i migliori los mejores os melhores (optimi,
cei mai buni)
els millors is mellus / sos menzus Los/lei melhors i miëures 'e meglie
beautiful pulchra / bella bella bèla belle bella bella (hermosa, bonita, linda) /
bella
bela /
(formosa, bonita, linda)
frumoasă (bonica, polida) /
bella
bella bèla bela bella
in the mouth in ore in bucca en la boçhe dans la bouche in la bucca nella bocca en la boca na boca[47] (a îmbuca)[48] a la boca in sa buca dins la boca te la bocia 'n bocca /'mmok.kə
winter hiems hibernus hìvern hiver inviern inverno invierno inverno iarnă hivern ierru / iberru ivèrn inviern vierno

In all of the above examples, the words appearing in the fourth century Vulgate are the same words as would have been used in Classical Latin of c. 50 BC. It is likely that some of these words had already disappeared from casual speech by the time of the Glosses; but if so, they may well have been still widely understood, as there is no recorded evidence that the common people of the time had difficulty understanding the language.

By the 8th century, the situation was very different. During the late 8th century, Charlemagne, holding that "Latin of his age was by classical standards intolerably corrupt",[46]:6 successfully imposed Classical Latin as an artificial written vernacular for Western Europe. Unfortunately, this meant that parishioners could no longer understand the sermons of their priests, forcing the Council of Tours in 813 to issue an edict that priests needed to translate their speeches into the rustica romana lingua, an explicit acknowledgement of the reality of the Romance languages as separate languages from Latin.[46]:6

By this time, and possibly as early as the 6th century according to Price (1984),[46]:6 the Romance lects had split apart enough to be able to speak of separate Gallo-Romance, Ibero-Romance, Italo-Romance and Eastern Romance languages. Some researchers[who?] have postulated that the major divergences in the spoken dialects began or accelerated considerably in the 5th century, as the formerly widespread and efficient communication networks of the Western Roman Empire rapidly broke down, leading to the total disappearance of the Western Roman Empire by the end of the century. The critical period between the 5th–10th centuries AD is poorly documented because little or no writing from the chaotic "Dark Ages" of the 5th–8th centuries has survived, and writing after that time was in consciously classicized Medieval Latin, with vernacular writing only beginning in earnest in the 11th or 12th centuries. An exception such as the Oaths of Strasbourg is evidence that by the ninth century effective communication with a non-learnèd audience was carried out in evolved Romance.

A language that was closely related to medieval Romanian was spoken during the Dark Ages by Vlachs in the Balkans, Herzegovina, Dalmatia (Morlachs), Ukraine (Hutsuls), Poland (Gorals), Slovakia, and Czech Moravia, but gradually these communities lost their maternal language.[49]

Recognition of the vernaculars

Romance - Germanic language border:[50]
• Early Middle Ages  
• Early Twentieth Century  

Between the 10th and 13th centuries, some local vernaculars developed a written form and began to supplant Latin in many of its roles. In some countries, such as Portugal, this transition was expedited by force of law; whereas in others, such as Italy, many prominent poets and writers used the vernacular of their own accord – some of the most famous in Italy being Giacomo da Lentini and Dante Alighieri. Well before that, the vernacular was also used for practical purposes, such as the testimonies in the Placiti Cassinesi, written 960–963.

Uniformization and standardization

The invention of the printing press brought a tendency towards greater uniformity of standard languages within political boundaries, at the expense of other Romance languages and dialects less favored politically. In France, for instance, the dialect spoken in the region of Paris gradually spread to the entire country, and the Occitan of the south lost ground.

Sound changes

Consonants

Significant sound changes affected the consonants of the Romance languages.

Apocope

There was a tendency to eliminate final consonants in Vulgar Latin, either by dropping them (apocope) or adding a vowel after them (epenthesis).

Many final consonants were rare, occurring only in certain prepositions (e.g. ad "towards", apud "at, near (a person)"), conjunctions (sed "but"), demonstratives (e.g. illud "that (over there)", hoc "this"), and nominative singular noun forms, especially of neuter nouns (e.g. lac "milk", mel "honey", cor "heart"). Many of these prepositions and conjunctions were replaced by others, while the nouns were regularized into forms based on their oblique stems that avoided the final consonants (e.g. *lacte, *mele, *core).

Final -m was dropped in Vulgar Latin. Even in Classical Latin, final -am, -em, -um (inflectional suffixes of the accusative case) were often elided in poetic meter, suggesting the m was weakly pronounced, probably marking the nasalisation of the vowel before it. This nasal vowel lost its nasalization in the Romance languages except in monosyllables, where it became /n/ e.g. Spanish quien < quem "whom", French rien "anything" < rem "thing"; note especially French and Catalan mon < meum "my (m.sg.)" which are derived from monosyllabic /meu̯m/ > */meu̯n/, /mun/, whereas Spanish disyllabic mío and Portuguese and Catalan monosyllabic meu are derived from disyllabic /ˈme.um/ > */ˈme.o/.[citation needed]

As a result, only the following final consonants occurred in Vulgar Latin:

  • Final -t in third-person singular verb forms, and -nt (later reduced in many languages to -n) in third-person plural verb forms.
  • Final -s (including -x) in a large number of morphological endings (verb endings -ās/-ēs/-īs/-is, -mus, -tis; nominative singular -us/-is; plural -ās/-ōs/-ēs) and certain other words (trēs "three", sex "six", crās "tomorrow", etc.).
  • Final -n in some monosyllables (from earlier -m).
  • Final -r, -d in some prepositions (e.g. ad, per), which were clitics that attached phonologically to the following word.
  • Very occasionally, final -c, e.g. Occitan oc "yes" < hoc, Old French avuec "with" < apud hoc (although these instances were possibly protected by a final epenthetic vowel at one point).

Final -t was eventually dropped in many languages, although this often occurred several centuries after the Vulgar Latin period. For example, the reflex of -t was dropped in Old French and Old Spanish only around 1100. In Old French, this occurred only when a vowel still preceded the t (generally /ə/ < Latin a). Hence amat "he loves" > Old French aime but venit "he comes" > Old French vient: the /t/ was never dropped and survives into Modern French in liaison, e.g. vient-il? "is he coming?" /vjɛ̃ti(l)/ (the corresponding /t/ in aime-t-il? is analogical, not inherited). Old French also kept the third-person plural ending -nt intact.

In Italo-Romance and the Eastern Romance languages, eventually all final consonants were either dropped or protected by an epenthetic vowel, except in clitic forms (e.g. prepositions con, per). Modern Standard Italian still has almost no consonant-final words, although Romanian has resurfaced them through later loss of final /u/ and /i/. For example, amās "you love" > ame > Italian ami; amant "they love" > *aman > Ital. amano. On the evidence of "sloppily written" Lombardic language documents, however, the loss of final /s/ in Italy did not occur until the 7th or 8th century, after the Vulgar Latin period, and the presence of many former final consonants is betrayed by the syntactic gemination (raddoppiamento sintattico) that they trigger. It is also thought that after a long vowel /s/ became /j/ rather than simply disappearing: nōs > noi "we", se(d)ēs > sei "you are", crās > crai "tomorrow" (southern Italian). In unstressed syllables, the resulting diphthongs were simplified: canēs > /ˈkanej/ > cani "dogs"; amīcās > /aˈmikaj/ > amiche /aˈmike/ "(female) friends", where nominative amīcae should produce **amice rather than amiche (note masculine amīcī > amici not **amichi).

Central Western Romance languages eventually regained a large number of final consonants through the general loss of final /e/ and /o/, e.g. Catalan llet "milk" < lactem, foc "fire" < focum, peix "fish" < piscem. In French, most of these secondary final consonants (as well as primary ones) were lost before around 1700, but tertiary final consonants later arose through the loss of /ə/ < -a. Hence masculine frīgidum "cold" > Old French freit /frwεt/ > froid /fʁwa/, feminine frigidam > Old French freide /frwεdə/ > froide /fʁwad/.

Palatalization

Palatalization was one of the most important processes affecting consonants in Vulgar Latin. This eventually resulted in a whole series of "palatal" and postalveolar consonants in most Romance languages, e.g. Italian /ʃ/, /tʃ/, /dʒ/, /ts/, /dz/, /ɲ/, /ʎ/.

The following historical stages occurred:

Stage Environment Consonants affected Result Languages affected
1 before /j/ (from e, i in hiatus) /t/, /d/ /tsʲ/, /jj~dzʲ~ddʒʲ/ all
2 all remaining, except labial consonants /ttʃʲ~ttsʲ/ < /kj/, /jj~ddʒʲ~ddzʲ/ < /ɡj/, /ɲɲ/, /ʎʎ/, /Cʲ/ all except Sardinian
3 before /i/ /k/, /ɡ/ /tʃʲ~tsʲ/, /j~dʒʲ~dzʲ/
4 before /e/ all except Sardinian and Dalmatian
5 before /a/, /au/ /tɕ~tʃʲ/, /dʑ~dʒʲ/ the north-central Gallo-Romance languages (e.g. French, northern Occitan); Rhaeto-Romance

Note how the environments become progressively less "palatal", and the languages affected become progressively fewer.

The outcomes of palatalization depended on the historical stage, the consonants involved, and the languages involved. The primary division is between the Western Romance languages, with /ts/ resulting from palatalization of /k/, and the remaining languages (Italo-Dalmatian and Eastern Romance), with /tʃ/ resulting. It is often suggested that /tʃ/ was the original result in all languages, with /tʃ/ > /ts/ a later innovation in the Western Romance languages. Evidence of this is the fact that Italian has both /ttʃ/ and /tts/ as outcomes of palatalization in different environments, while Western Romance has only /(t)ts/. Even more suggestive is the fact that the Mozarabic language in al-Andalus (modern southern Spain) had /tʃ/ as the outcome despite being in the "Western Romance" area and geographically disconnected from the remaining /tʃ/ areas; this suggests that Mozarabic was an outlying "relic" area where the change /tʃ/ > /ts/ failed to reach. (Northern French dialects, such as Norman and Picard, also had /tʃ/, but this may be a secondary development, i.e. due to a later sound change /ts/ > /tʃ/.) Note that /ts, dz, dʒ/ eventually became /s, z, ʒ/ in most Western Romance languages. Thus Latin caelum (sky, heaven), pronounced [ˈkai̯lu(m)] with an initial [k], became Italian cielo [ˈtʃɛlo], Romanian cer [tʃer], Spanish cielo [ˈθjelo]/[ˈsjelo], French ciel [sjɛl], Catalan cel [ˈsɛɫ], and Portuguese céu [ˈsɛw].

The outcome of palatalized /d/ and /ɡ/ is less clear:

  • Original /j/ has the same outcome as palatalized /ɡ/ everywhere.
  • Romanian fairly consistently has /z/ < /dz/ from palatalized /d/, but /dʒ/ from palatalized /ɡ/.
  • Italian inconsistently has /ddz~ddʒ/ from palatalized /d/, and /ddʒ/ from palatalized /ɡ/.
  • Most other languages have the same results for palatalized /d/ and /ɡ/: consistent /dʒ/ initially, but either /j/ or /dʒ/ medially (depending on language and exact context). But Spanish has /j/ (phonetically [ɟ͡ʝ]) initially except before /o/, /u/; nearby Gascon is similar.

This suggests that palatalized /d/ > /dʲ/ > either /j/ or /dz/ depending on location, while palatalized /ɡ/ > /j/; after this, /j/ > /(d)dʒ/ in most areas, but Spanish and Gascon (originating from isolated districts behind the western Pyrenees) were relic areas unaffected by this change.

In French, the outcomes of /k, ɡ/ palatalized by /e, i, j/ and by /a, au/ were different: centum "hundred" > cent /sɑ̃/ but cantum "song" > chant /ʃɑ̃/. French also underwent palatalization of labials before /j/: Vulgar Latin /pj, bj~vj, mj/ > Old French /tʃ, dʒ, ndʒ/ (sēpia "cuttlefish" > seiche, rubeus "red" > rouge, sīmia "monkey" > singe).

The original outcomes of palatalization must have continued to be phonetically palatalized even after they had developed into alveolar/postalveolar/etc. consonants. This is clear from French, where all originally palatalized consonants triggered the development of a following glide /j/ in certain circumstances (most visible in the endings -āre, -ātum/ātam). In some cases this /j/ came from a consonant palatalized by an adjoining consonant after the late loss of a separating vowel. For example, mansiōnātam > /masʲoˈnata/ > masʲˈnada/ > /masʲˈnʲæðə/ > early Old French maisnieḍe /maisˈniɛðə/ "household". Similarly, mediētātem > /mejeˈtate/ > /mejˈtade/ > /mejˈtæðe/ > early Old French meitieḍ /mejˈtʲɛθ/ > modern French moitié /mwaˈtje/ "half". In both cases, phonetic palatalization must have remained in primitive Old French at least through the time when unstressed intertonic vowels were lost (?c.8th century), well after the fragmentation of the Romance languages.

The effect of palatalization is indicated in the writing systems of almost all Romance languages, where the letters have the "hard" pronunciation [k, ɡ] in most situations, but a "soft" pronunciation (e.g. French/Portuguese [s, ʒ], Italian/Romanian [tʃ, dʒ]) before ⟨e, i, y⟩. (This orthographic trait has passed into Modern English through Norman French-speaking scribes writing Middle English; this replaced the earlier system of Old English, which had developed its own hard-soft distinction with the soft ⟨c, g⟩ representing [tʃ, j~dʒ].) This has the effect of keeping the modern spelling similar to the original Latin spelling, but complicates the relationship between sound and letter. In particular, the hard sounds must be written differently before ⟨e, i, y⟩ (e.g. Italian ⟨ch, gh⟩, Portuguese ⟨qu, gu⟩), and likewise for the soft sounds when not before these letters (e.g. Italian ⟨ci, gi⟩, Portuguese ⟨ç, j⟩). Furthermore, in Spanish, Catalan, Occitan and Brazilian Portuguese, the use of digraphs containing ⟨u⟩ to signal the hard pronunciation before ⟨e, i, y⟩ means that a different spelling is also needed to signal the sounds /kw, ɡw/ before these vowels (Spanish ⟨cu, gü⟩, Catalan, Occitan and Brazilian Portuguese ⟨qü, gü⟩).[51] This produces a number of orthographic alternations in verbs whose pronunciation is entirely regular. The following are examples of corresponding first-person plural indicative and subjunctive in a number of regular Portuguese verbs: marcamos, marquemos "we mark"; caçamos, cacemos "we hunt"; chegamos, cheguemos "we arrive"; averiguamos, averigüemos "we verify"; adequamos, adeqüemos "we adapt"; oferecemos, ofereçamos "we offer"; dirigimos, dirijamos "we drive" erguemos, ergamos "we raise"; delinquimos, delincamos "we commit a crime". In the case of Italian, the convention of digraphs <ch> and <gh> to represent /k/ and /g/ before written <e, i> results in similar orthographic alternations, such as dimentico 'I forget', dimentichi 'you forget', baco 'worm', bachi 'worms' with [k] or pago 'I pay', paghi 'you pay' and lago 'lake', laghi 'lakes' with [g]. The use in Italian of <ci> and <gi> to represent /tʃ/ or /dʒ/ before vowels written <a,o,u> neatly distinguishes dico 'I say' with /k/ from dici 'you say' with /tʃ/ or ghiro 'dormouse' /g/ and giro 'turn, revolution' /dʒ/, but with orthographic <ci> and <gi> also representing the sequence of /tʃ/ or /dʒ/ and the actual vowel /i/ (/ditʃi/ dici, /dʒiro/ giro), and no generally observed convention of indicating stress position, the status of i when followed by another vowel in spelling can be unrecognizable. For example, the written forms offer no indication that <cia> in camicia 'shirt' represents a single unstressed syllable /tʃa/ with no /i/ at any level (/kaˈmitʃa/ → [kaˈmiːtʃa] ~ [kaˈmiːʃa]), but that underlying the same spelling <cia> in farmacia 'pharmacy' is a bisyllabic sequence consisting of the stressed syllable /tʃi/ and syllabic /a/ (/farmaˈtʃia/ → [farmaˈtʃiːa] ~ [farmaˈʃiːa]).

Lenition

Stop consonants shifted by lenition in Vulgar Latin in some areas.

The voiced labial consonants /b/ and /w/ (represented by ⟨b⟩ and ⟨v⟩, respectively) both developed a fricative [β] as an intervocalic allophone.[52] This is clear from the orthography; in medieval times, the spelling of a consonantal ⟨v⟩ is often used for what had been a ⟨b⟩ in Classical Latin, or the two spellings were used interchangeably. In many Romance languages (Italian, French, Portuguese, Romanian, etc.), this fricative later developed into a /v/; but in others (Spanish, Galician, some Catalan and Occitan dialects, etc.) reflexes of /b/ and /w/ simply merged into a single phoneme.

Several other consonants were "softened" in intervocalic position in Western Romance (Spanish, Portuguese, French, Northern Italian), but normally not phonemically in the rest of Italy (except some cases of "elegant" or Ecclesiastical words), nor apparently at all in Romanian. The dividing line between the two sets of dialects is called the La Spezia–Rimini Line and is one of the most important isoglosses of the Romance dialects. The changes (instances of diachronic lenition resulting in phonological restructuring) are as follows: Single voiceless plosives became voiced: -p-, -t-, -c- > -b-, -d-, -g-. Subsequently, in some languages they were further weakened, either becoming fricatives or approximants, [β̞], [ð̞], [ɣ˕] (as in Spanish) or disappearing entirely (as /t/ and /k/, but not /p/, in French). The following example shows progressive weakening of original /t/: e.g. vītam > Italian vita [ˈvita], Portuguese vida [ˈvidɐ] (European Portuguese [ˈviðɐ]), Spanish vida [ˈbiða] (Southern Peninsular Spanish [ˈbia]), and French vie [vi]. Some scholars once speculated that these sound changes may be due in part to the influence of Continental Celtic languages,[citation needed] but scholarship of the past few decades challenges that hypothesis.

  • The voiced plosives /d/ and /ɡ/ tended to disappear.
  • The plain sibilant -s- [s] was also voiced to [z] between vowels, although in many languages its spelling has not changed. (In Spanish, intervocalic [z] was later devoiced back to [s]; [z] is only found as an allophone of /s/ before voiced consonants in Modern Spanish.)
  • The double plosives became single: -pp-, -tt-, -cc-, -bb-, -dd-, -gg- > -p-, -t-, -c-, -b-, -d-, -g- in most languages. In French spelling, double consonants are merely etymological, except for -ll- after -i (pronounced [ij]), in most cases.
  • The double sibilant -ss- [sː] also became phonetically single [s], although in many languages its spelling has not changed.

Consonant length is no longer phonemically distinctive in most Romance languages. However some languages of Italy (Italian, Sardinian, Sicilian, and numerous other varieties of central and southern Italy) do have long consonants like /ɡɡ/, /dd/, /bb/, /kk/, /tt/, /pp/, /ll/, /mm/, /nn/, /ss/, /rr/, etc., where the doubling indicates either actual length or, in the case of plosives and affricates, a short hold before the consonant is released, in many cases with distinctive lexical value: e.g. note /ˈnɔ.te/ (notes) vs. notte /ˈnɔt.te/ (night), cade /ˈka.de/ (s/he, it falls) vs. cadde /ˈkad.de/ (s/he, it fell), caro /ˈka.ro/ (dear, expensive) vs. carro /ˈkar.ro/ (cart). They may even occur at the beginning of words in Romanesco, Neapolitan, Sicilian and other southern varieties, and are occasionally indicated in writing, e.g. Sicilian cchiù (more), and ccà (here). In general, the consonants /b/, /ts/, and /dz/ are long at the start of a word, while the archiphoneme |R|[dubious ] is realised as a trill /r/ in the same position. In much of central and southern Italy, the affricates /t͡ʃ/ and /d͡ʒ/ weaken synchronically to fricative [ʃ] and [ʒ] between vowels, while their geminate congeners do not, e.g. cacio /ˈka.t͡ʃo/ → [ˈkaːʃo] (cheese) vs. caccio /ˈkat.t͡ʃo/ → [ˈkat.t͡ʃo] (I chase).

A few languages have regained secondary geminate consonants. The double consonants of Piedmontese exist only after stressed /ə/, written ë, and are not etymological: vëdde (Latin vidēre, to see), sëcca (Latin sicca, dry, feminine of sech). In standard Catalan and Occitan, there exists a geminate sound /lː/ written ŀl (Catalan) or ll (Occitan), but it is usually pronounced as a simple sound in colloquial (and even some formal) speech in both languages.

Vowel prosthesis

In Late Latin a prosthetic vowel /i/ (lowered to /e/ in most languages) was inserted at the beginning of any word that began with /s/ (referred to as s impura) and a voiceless consonant (#sC- > isC-):

  • scrībere 'to write' > Sardinian iscribere, Spanish escribir, Portuguese escrever, Catalan escriure, Old French escri(v)re (mod. écrire);
  • spatha "sword" > Sard ispada, Sp/Pg espada, Cat espasa, OFr espeḍe (modern épée);
  • spiritus "spirit" > Sard ispìritu, Sp espíritu, Pg espírito, Cat esperit, French esprit;
  • Stephanum "Stephen" > Sard Istèvene, Sp Esteban, Cat Esteve, Pg Estêvão, OFr Estievne (mod. Étienne);
  • status "state" > Sard istadu, Sp/Pg estado, Cat estat, OFr estat (mod. état).

Prosthetic /i/ ~ /e/ in Romance languages may have been influenced by Continental Celtic languages,[citation needed] although the phenomenon exists or existed in some areas where Celtic was never present (e.g. Sardinia, southern Italy). While Western Romance words undergo prothesis, cognates in Balkan Romance and southern Italo-Romance do not, e.g. Italian scrivere, spada, spirito, Stefano, and stato. In Italian, syllabification rules were preserved instead by vowel-final articles, thus feminine spada as la spada, but instead of rendering the masculine *il spaghetto, lo spaghetto came to be the norm. Though receding at present, Italian once had a prosthetic /i/ if a consonant preceded such clusters, so that 'in Switzerland' was in [i]Svizzera. Some speakers still use the prothetic [i] productively, and it is fossilized in a few set locutions such as in ispecie 'especially' or per iscritto 'in writing' (although in this case its survival may be due partly to the influence of the separate word iscritto < Latin īnscrīptus). The association of /i/ ~ /j/ and /s/ also led to the vocalization of word-final -s in Italian, Romanian, certain Occitan dialects, and the Spanish dialect of Chocó in Colombia.[53]

Stressed vowels

Loss of vowel length, reorientation

Evolution of stressed vowels in early Romance
Classical Proto-
Romance
Western
Romance
Balkan
Romance
Sardinian Sicilian
Acad.1 Roman IPA IPA Acad.1 IPA
ī long i /iː/ /i/ [iː] i /i/ /i/ /i/ /i/
ȳ long y /yː/
i (ĭ) short i /i/ [ɪ] /ɪ/ [i] /e/ /e/
y (y̆) short y /y/
ē long e /eː/ /e/ [e(ː)] /e/
œ oe /oj/ > /eː/
e (ĕ) short e /e/ [ɛ] /ɛ/ [ɛ(ː)] ę /ɛ/ /ɛ/ /ɛ/
æ ae /aj/ > [ɛː]
ā long a /aː/ /a/ [a(ː)] a /a/
a (ă) short a /a/
o (ŏ) short o /o/ [ɔ] /ɔ/ [ɔ(ː)] ǫ /ɔ/ /o/ /o/ /ɔ/
ō long o /oː/ /o/ [o(ː)] /o/ /u/
au
(a few words)
au /aw/ > /oː/
u (ŭ) short u /u/ [ʊ] /ʊ/ [u] /u/ /u/
ū long u /uː/ /u/ [uː] u /u/
au
(most words)
au /aw/ au /aw/
1 Traditional academic transcription in Latin and Romance studies, respectively.

One profound change that affected Vulgar Latin was the reorganisation of its vowel system. Classical Latin had five short vowels, ă, ĕ, ĭ, ŏ, ŭ, and five long vowels, ā, ē, ī, ō, ū, each of which was an individual phoneme (see the table in the right, for their likely pronunciation in IPA), and four diphthongs, ae, oe, au and eu (five according to some authors, including ui). There were also long and short versions of y, representing the rounded vowel /y(ː)/ in Greek borrowings, which however probably came to be pronounced /i(ː)/ even before Romance vowel changes started.

There is evidence that in the imperial period all the short vowels except a differed by quality as well as by length from their long counterparts.[54] So, for example ē was pronounced close-mid /eː/ while ĕ was pronounced open-mid /ɛ/, and ī was pronounced close /iː/ while ĭ was pronounced near-close /ɪ/.

During the Proto-Romance period, phonemic length distinctions were lost. Vowels came to be automatically pronounced long in stressed, open syllables (i.e. when followed by only one consonant), and pronounced short everywhere else. This situation is still maintained in modern Italian: cade [ˈkaːde] "he falls" vs. cadde [ˈkadde] "he fell".

The Proto-Romance loss of phonemic length originally produced a system with nine different quality distinctions in monophthongs, where only original /ă ā/ had merged. Soon, however, many of these vowels coalesced:

  • The simplest outcome was in Sardinian,[55] where the former long and short vowels in Latin simply coalesced, e.g. /ĕ ē/ > /e/, /ĭ ī/ > /i/: This produced a simple five-vowel system /a e i o u/.
  • In most areas, however (technically, the Italo-Western languages), the near-close vowels /ɪ ʊ/ lowered and merged into the high-mid vowels /e o/. As a result, Latin pira "pear" and vēra "true", came to rhyme (e.g. Italian and Spanish pera, vera, and Old French poire, voire). Similarly, Latin nucem (from nux "nut") and vōcem (from vōx "voice") become Italian noce, voce, Portuguese noz, voz, and French noix, voix. This produced a seven-vowel system /a ɛ e i ɔ o u/, still maintained in conservative languages such as Italian and Portuguese, and lightly transformed in Spanish (where /ɛ/ > /je/, /ɔ/ > /we/).
  • In the Eastern Romance languages (particularly, Romanian), the front vowels /ĕ ē ĭ ī/ evolved as in the majority of languages, but the back vowels /ŏ ō ŭ ū/ evolved as in Sardinian. This produced an unbalanced six-vowel system: /a ɛ e i o u/. In modern Romanian, this system has been significantly transformed, with /ɛ/ > /je/ and with new vowels /ə ɨ/ evolving, leading to a balanced seven-vowel system with central as well as front and back vowels: /a e i ə ɨ o u/.
  • Sicilian is sometimes described as having its own distinct vowel system. In fact, Sicilian passed through the same developments as the main bulk of Italo-Western languages. Subsequently, however, high-mid vowels (but not low-mid vowels) were raised in all syllables, stressed and unstressed; i.e. /e o/ > /i u/. The result is a five-vowel /a ɛ i ɔ u/.

Further variants are found in southern Italy and Corsica, which also boasts a completely distinct system (see above).

The Proto-Romance allophonic vowel-length system was rephonemicized in the Gallo-Romance languages as a result of the loss of many final vowels. Some northern Italian languages (e.g. Friulian) still maintain this secondary phonemic length, but most languages dropped it by either diphthongizing or shortening the new long vowels.

French phonemicized a third vowel length system around AD 1300 as a result of the sound change /VsC/ > /VhC/ > /VːC/ (where V is any vowel and C any consonant). This vowel length was eventually lost by around AD 1700, but the former long vowels are still marked with a circumflex. A fourth vowel length system, still non-phonemic, has now arisen: All nasal vowels as well as the oral vowels /ɑ o ø/ (which mostly derive from former long vowels) are pronounced long in all stressed closed syllables, and all vowels are pronounced long in syllables closed by the voiced fricatives /v z ʒ ʁ vʁ/. This system in turn has been phonemicized in some non-standard dialects (e.g. Haitian Creole), as a result of the loss of final /ʁ/.

Latin diphthongs

The Latin diphthongs ae and oe, pronounced /ai/ and /oi/ in earlier Latin, were early on monophthongized.

ae became /ɛː/ by the 1st century a.d. at the latest. Although this sound was still distinct from all existing vowels, the neutralization of Latin vowel length eventually caused its merger with /ɛ/ < short e: e.g. caelum "sky" > French ciel, Spanish/Italian cielo, Portuguese céu /sɛw/, with the same vowel as in mele "honey" > French/Spanish miel, Italian miele, Portuguese mel /mɛl/. Some words show an early merger of ae with /eː/, as in praeda "booty" > *prēda /preːda/ > French proie (vs. expected **priée), Italian preda (not **prieda) "prey"; or faenum "hay" > *fēnum [feːnũ] > Spanish heno, French foin (but Italian fieno /fjɛno/).

oe generally merged with /eː/: poenam "punishment" > Romance */pena/ > Spanish/Italian pena, French peine; foedus "ugly" > Romance */fedo/ > Spanish feo, Portuguese feio. There are relatively few such outcomes, since oe was rare in Classical Latin (most original instances had become Classical ū, as in Old Latin oinos "one" > Classical ūnus[56]) and so oe was mostly limited to Greek loanwords, which were typically learned (high-register) terms.

au merged with ō /oː/ in the popular speech of Rome already by the 1st century b.c. A number of authors remarked on this explicitly, e.g. Cicero's taunt that the populist politician Publius Clodius Pulcher had changed his name from Claudius to ingratiate himself with the masses. This change never penetrated far from Rome, however, and the pronunciation /au/ was maintained for centuries in the vast majority of Latin-speaking areas, although it eventually developed into some variety of o in many languages. For example, Italian and French have /ɔ/ as the usual reflex, but this post-dates diphthongization of /ɔ/ and the French-specific palatalization /ka/ > /tʃa/ (hence causa > French chose, Italian cosa /kɔza/ not **cuosa). Spanish has /o/, but Portuguese spelling maintains ⟨ou⟩, which has developed to /o/ (and still remains as /ou/ in some dialects, and /oi/ in others). Occitan, Romanian, southern Italian languages, and many other minority Romance languages still have /au/. A few common words, however, show an early merger with ō /oː/, evidently reflecting a generalization of the popular Roman pronunciation: e.g. French queue, Italian coda /koda/, Occitan co(d)a, Romanian coadă (all meaning "tail") must all derive from cōda rather than Classical cauda (but notice Portuguese cauda).[57] Similarly, Spanish oreja, Portuguese orelha, French oreille, Romanian ureche, and Sardinian olícra, orícla "ear" must derive from ōric(u)la rather than Classical auris (Occitan aurelha was probably influenced by the unrelated ausir < audīre "to hear"), and the form oricla is in fact reflected in the Appendix Probi.

Further developments

Metaphony

An early process that operated in all Romance languages to varying degrees was metaphony (vowel mutation), conceptually similar to the umlaut process so characteristic of the Germanic languages. Depending on the language, certain stressed vowels were raised (or sometimes diphthongized) either by a final /i/ or /u/ or by a directly following /j/. Metaphony is most extensive in the Italo-Romance languages, and applies to nearly all languages in Italy; however, it is absent from Tuscan, and hence from standard Italian. In many languages affected by metaphony, a distinction exists between final /u/ (from most cases of Latin -um) and final /o/ (from Latin , -ud and some cases of -um, esp. masculine "mass" nouns), and only the former triggers metaphony.

Some examples:

  • In Servigliano in the Marche of Italy, stressed /ɛ e ɔ o/ are raised to /e i o u/ before final /i/ or /u/:[58] /ˈmetto/ "I put" vs. /ˈmitti/ "you put" (< *metti < *mettes < Latin mittis); /moˈdɛsta/ "modest (fem.)" vs. /moˈdestu/ "modest (masc.)"; /ˈkwesto/ "this (neut.)" (< Latin eccum istud) vs. /ˈkwistu/ "this (masc.)" (< Latin eccum istum).
  • Calvallo in Basilicata, southern Italy, is similar, but the low-mid vowels /ɛ ɔ/ are diphthongized to /je wo/ rather than raised:[59] /ˈmette/ "he puts" vs. /ˈmitti/ "you put", but /ˈpɛnʒo/ "I think" vs. /ˈpjenʒi/ "you think".
  • Metaphony also occurs in most northern Italian dialects, but only by (usually lost) final *i; apparently, final *u was lowered to *o (usually lost) before metaphony could take effect.
  • Some of the Astur-Leonese languages in northern Spain have the same distinction between final /o/ and /u/[60] as in the Central-Southern Italian languages,[61] with /u/ triggering metaphony.[62] The plural of masculine nouns in these dialects ends in -os, which does not trigger metaphony, unlike in the singular (vs. Italian plural -i, which does trigger metaphony).
  • Sardinian has allophonic raising of mid vowels /ɛ ɔ/ to [e o] before final /i/ or /u/. This has been phonemicized in the Campidanese dialect as a result of the raising of final /e o/ to /i u/.
  • Raising of /ɔ/ to /o/ occurs sporadically in Portuguese in the masculine singular, e.g. porco /ˈporku/ "pig" vs. porcos /ˈpɔrkus/ "pig". It is thought that Galician-Portuguese at one point had singular /u/ vs. plural /os/, exactly as in modern Astur-Leonese.[61]
  • In all of the Western Romance languages, final /i/ (primarily occurring in the first-person singular of the preterite) raised mid-high /e o/ to /i u/, e.g. Portuguese fiz "I did" (< *fidzi < *fedzi < Latin fēcī) vs. fez "he did" (< *fedze < Latin fēcit). Old Spanish similarly had fize "I did" vs. fezo "he did" (-o by analogy with amó "he loved"), but subsequently generalized stressed /i/, producing modern hice "I did" vs. hizo "he did". The same thing happened prehistorically in Old French, yielding fis "I did", fist "he did" (< *feist < Latin fēcit).
Diphthongization

A number of languages diphthongized some of the free vowels, especially the open-mid vowels /ɛ ɔ/:

  • Spanish consistently diphthongized all open-mid vowels /ɛ ɔ/ > /je we/ except for before certain palatal consonants (which raised the vowels to close-mid before diphthongization took place).
  • Romanian similarly diphthongized /ɛ/ to /je/ (the corresponding vowel /ɔ/ did not develop from Proto-Romance).
  • Italian diphthongized /ɛ/ > /jɛ/ and /ɔ/ > /wɔ/ in open syllables (in the situations where vowels were lengthened in Proto-Romance), the most salient exception being /ˈbɛne/ bene 'well', perhaps due to the high frequency of apocopated ben (e.g. ben difficile 'quite difficult', ben fatto 'well made' etc.).
  • French similarly diphthongized /ɛ ɔ/ in open syllables (when lengthened), along with /a e o/: /aː ɛː eː ɔː oː/ > /aɛ iɛ ei uɔ ou/ > middle OF /e je ɔi we eu/ > modern /e je wa œ ~ ø œ ~ ø/.
  • French also diphthongized /ɛ ɔ/ before palatalized consonants, especially /j/. Further development was as follows: /ɛj/ > /iej/ > /i/; /ɔj/ > /uoj/ > early OF /uj/ > modern /ɥi/.
  • Catalan diphthongized /ɛ ɔ/ before /j/ from palatalized consonants, just like French, with similar results: /ɛj/ > /i/, /ɔj/ > /uj/.

These diphthongizations had the effect of reducing or eliminating the distinctions between open-mid and close-mid vowels in many languages. In Spanish and Romanian, all open-mid vowels were diphthongized, and the distinction disappeared entirely. Portuguese is the most conservative in this respect, keeping the seven-vowel system more or less unchanged (but with changes in particular circumstances, e.g. due to metaphony). Other than before palatalized consonants, Catalan keeps /ɔ o/ intact, but /ɛ e/ split in a complex fashion into /ɛ e ə/ and then coalesced again in the standard dialect (Eastern Catalan) in such a way that most original /ɛ e/ have reversed their quality to become /e ɛ/.

In French and Italian, the distinction between open-mid and close-mid vowels occurred only in closed syllables. Standard Italian more or less maintains this. In French, /e/ and /ɛ/ merged by the twelfth century or so, and the distinction between /ɔ/ and /o/ was eliminated without merging by the sound changes /u/ > /y/, /o/ > /u/. Generally this led to a situation where both [e,o] and [ɛ,ɔ] occur allophonically, with the close-mid vowels in open syllables and the open-mid vowels in closed syllables. In French, both [e/ɛ] and [o/ɔ] were partly rephonemicized: Both /e/ and /ɛ/ occur in open syllables as a result of /aj/ > /ɛ/, and both /o/ and /ɔ/ occur in closed syllables as a result of /al/ > /au/ > /o/.

Old French also had numerous falling diphthongs resulting from diphthongization before palatal consonants or from a fronted /j/ originally following palatal consonants in Proto-Romance or later: e.g. pācem /patsʲe/ "peace" > PWR */padzʲe/ (lenition) > OF paiz /pajts/; *punctum "point" > Gallo-Romance */ponʲto/ > */pojɲto/ (fronting) > OF point /põjnt/. During the Old French period, preconsonantal /l/ [ɫ] vocalized to /w/, producing many new falling diphthongs: e.g. dulcem "sweet" > PWR */doltsʲe/ > OF dolz /duɫts/ > douz /duts/; fallet "fails, is deficient" > OF falt > faut "is needed"; bellus "beautiful" > OF bels [bɛɫs] > beaus [bɛaws]. By the end of the Middle French period, all falling diphthongs either monophthongized or switched to rising diphthongs: proto-OF /aj ɛj jɛj ej jej wɔj oj uj al ɛl el il ɔl ol ul/ > early OF /aj ɛj i ej yj oj yj aw ɛaw ew i ɔw ow y/ > modern spelling ⟨ai ei i oi ui oi ui au eau eu i ou ou u⟩ > mod. French /ɛ ɛ i wa ɥi wa ɥi o o ø i u u y/.

Nasalization

In both French and Portuguese, nasal vowels eventually developed from sequences of a vowel followed by a nasal consonant (/m/ or /n/). Originally, all vowels in both languages were nasalized before any nasal consonants, and nasal consonants not immediately followed by a vowel were eventually dropped. In French, nasal vowels before remaining nasal consonants were subsequently denasalized, but not before causing the vowels to lower somewhat, e.g. dōnat "he gives" > OF dune /dunə/ > donne /dɔn/, fēminam > femme /fam/. Other vowels remained diphthongized, and were dramatically lowered: fīnem "end" > fin /fɛ̃/ (often pronounced [fæ̃]); linguam "tongue" > langue /lɑ̃ɡ/; ūnum "one" > un /œ̃/, /ɛ̃/.

In Portuguese, /n/ between vowels was dropped, and the resulting hiatus eliminated through vowel contraction of various sorts, often producing diphthongs: manum, *manōs > PWR *manu, ˈmanos "hand(s)" > mão, mãos /mɐ̃w̃, mɐ̃w̃s/; canem, canēs "dog(s)" > PWR *kane, ˈkanes > *can, ˈcanes > cão, cães /kɐ̃w̃, kɐ̃j̃s/; ratiōnem, ratiōnēs "reason(s)" > PWR *raˈdʲzʲone, raˈdʲzʲones > *raˈdzon, raˈdzones > razão, razões /χaˈzɐ̃w̃, χaˈzõj̃s/ (Brazil), /ʁaˈzɐ̃ũ, ʁɐˈzõj̃ʃ/ (Portugal). Sometimes the nasalization was eliminated: lūna "moon" > Galician-Portuguese lũa > lua; vēna "vein" > Galician-Portuguese vẽa > veia. Nasal vowels that remained actually tend to be raised (rather than lowered, as in French): fīnem "end" > fim /fĩ/; centum "hundred" > PWR tʲsʲɛnto > cento /ˈsẽtu/; pontem "bridge" > PWR pɔnte > ponte /ˈpõtʃi/ (Brazil), /ˈpõtɨ/ (Portugal).

Front-rounded vowels

Characteristic of the Gallo-Romance and Rhaeto-Romance languages are the front rounded vowels /y ø œ/. All of these languages show an unconditional change /u/ > /y/, e.g. lūnam > French lune /lyn/, Occitan /ˈlyno/. Many of the languages in Switzerland and Italy show the further change /y/ > /i/. Also very common is some variation of the French development /ɔː oː/ (lengthened in open syllables) > /we ew/ > /œ œ/, with mid back vowels diphthongizing in some circumstances and then re-monophthongizing into mid-front rounded vowels. (French has both /ø/ and /œ/, with /ø/ developing from /œ/ in certain circumstances.)

Unstressed vowels

Evolution of unstressed vowels in early Italo-Western Romance
Latin Proto-
Romance
Stressed Non-final
unstressed
Final-unstressed
Original Later
Italo-
Romance
Later
Western-
Romance
Gallo-
Romance
Primitive
French
IPA Acad.1 IPA
a,ā /a/ a /a/ /a/ /ə/
e,ae /ɛ/ ę /ɛ/ /e/ /e/ /e/ ∅; /e/ (prop) ∅; /ə/ (prop)
ē,oe /e/ /e/
i,y /ɪ/
ī,ȳ /i/ i /i/ /i/
o /ɔ/ ǫ /ɔ/ /o/ /o/ /o/
ō,(au) /o/ /o/
u /ʊ/ /u/
ū /u/ u /u/
au
(most words)
/aw/ au /aw/ N/A
1 Traditional academic transcription in Romance studies.

There was more variability in the result of the unstressed vowels. Originally in Proto-Romance, the same nine vowels developed in unstressed as stressed syllables, and in Sardinian, they coalesced into the same five vowels in the same way.

In Italo-Western Romance, however, vowels in unstressed syllables were significantly different from stressed vowels, with yet a third outcome for final unstressed syllables. In non-final unstressed syllables, the seven-vowel system of stressed syllables developed, but then the low-mid vowels /ɛ ɔ/ merged into the high-mid vowels /e o/. This system is still preserved, largely or completely, in all of the conservative Romance languages (e.g. Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan).

In final unstressed syllables, results were somewhat complex. One of the more difficult issues is the development of final short -u, which appears to have been raised to /u/ rather than lowered to /o/, as happened in all other syllables. However, it is possible that in reality, final /u/ comes from long * < -um, where original final -m caused vowel lengthening as well as nasalization. Evidence of this comes from Rhaeto-Romance, in particular Sursilvan, which preserves reflexes of both final -us and -um, and where the latter, but not the former, triggers metaphony. This suggests the development -us > /ʊs/ > /os/, but -um > /ũː/ > /u/.[63]

The original five-vowel system in final unstressed syllables was preserved as-is in some of the more conservative central Italian languages, but in most languages there was further coalescence:

  • In Tuscan (including standard Italian), final /u/ merged into /o/.
  • In the Western Romance languages, final /i/ eventually merged into /e/ (although final /i/ triggered metaphony before that, e.g. Spanish hice, Portuguese fiz "I did" < *fize < Latin fēcī). Conservative languages like Spanish largely maintain that system, but drop final /e/ after certain single consonants, e.g. /r/, /l/, /n/, /d/, /z/ (< palatalized c).
  • In the Gallo-Romance languages (part of Western Romance), final /o/ and /e/ were dropped entirely unless that produced an impossible final cluster (e.g. /tr/), in which case a "prop vowel" /e/ was added. This left only two final vowels: /a/ and prop vowel /e/. Catalan preserves this system.
  • Loss of final stressless vowels in Venetian shows a pattern intermediate between Central Italian and the Gallo-Italic branch, and the environments for vowel deletion vary considerably depending on the dialect. In the table above, final /e/ is uniformly absent in mar, absent in some dialects in part(e) /part(e)/ and set(e) /sɛt(e)/, but retained in mare (< Latin mātrem) as a relic of the earlier cluster *dr.
  • In primitive Old French (one of the Gallo-Romance languages), these two remaining vowels merged into /ə/.

Various later changes happened in individual languages, e.g.:

  • In French, most final consonants were dropped, and then final /ə/ was also dropped. The /ə/ is still preserved in spelling as a final silent -e, whose main purpose is to signal that the previous consonant is pronounced, e.g. port "port" /pɔʁ/ vs. porte "door" /pɔʁt/. These changes also eliminated the difference between singular and plural in most words: ports "ports" (still /pɔʁ/), portes "doors" (still /pɔʁt/). Final consonants reappear in liaison contexts (in close connection with a following vowel-initial word), e.g. nous [nu] "we" vs. nous avons [nu.za.ˈvɔ̃] "we have", il fait [il.fɛ] "he does" vs. fait-il ? [fɛ.til] "does he?".
  • In Portuguese, final unstressed /o/ and /u/ were apparently preserved intact for a while, since final unstressed /u/, but not /o/ or /os/, triggered metaphony (see above). Final-syllable unstressed /o/ was raised in preliterary times to /u/, but always still written ⟨o⟩. At some point (perhaps in late Galician-Portuguese), final-syllable unstressed /e/ was raised to /i/ (but still written ⟨e⟩); this remains in Brazilian Portuguese, but has developed to /ɨ/ in northern and central European Portuguese.
  • In Catalan, final unstressed /as/ > /es/. In many dialects, unstressed /o/ and /u/ merge into /u/ as in Portuguese, and unstressed /a/ and /e/ merge into /ə/. However, some dialects preserve the original five-vowel system, most notably standard Valencian.
Examples of evolution of final unstressed vowels:
From least- to most-changed languages
English Latin Proto-Italo-
Western1
Conservative
Central Italian1
Italian Portuguese Spanish Catalan Old French Modern French
a, e, i, o, u a, e, i, o, u a, e, i, o a, e/-, o a, -/e e, -/e
one (fem.) ūnam [ˈuna] una une
door portam [ˈpɔrta] porta puerta porta porte
seven septem [ˈsɛtte] sette sete siete set sept
sea mare [ˈmare] mare mar mer
peace pācem [ˈpatʃe] pace paz pau paiz paix
part partem [ˈparte] parte part
truth veritātem [ˈveritate] verità verdade verdad veritat verité vérité
mother mātrem [ˈmatre] matre madre mãe madre mare meḍre mère
twenty vīgintī [veˈenti] vinti venti vinte veinte vint vingt
four quattuor [ˈkwattro] quattro quatro cuatro quatre
eight octō [ˈɔkto] otto oito ocho vuit huit
when quandō [ˈkwando] quando cuando quan quant quand
fourth quartum [ˈkwartu] quartu quarto cuarto quart
one (masc.) ūnum [ˈunu] unu uno un
port portum [ˈpɔrtu] portu porto puerto port

Intertonic vowels

The so-called intertonic vowels are word-internal unstressed vowels, i.e. not in the initial, final, or tonic (i.e. stressed) syllable, hence intertonic. Intertonic vowels were the most subject to loss or modification. Already in Vulgar Latin intertonic vowels between a single consonant and a following /r/ or /l/ tended to drop: vétulum "old" > veclum > Dalmatian vieklo, Sicilian vecchiu, Portuguese velho. But many languages ultimately dropped almost all intertonic vowels.

Generally, those languages south and east of the La Spezia–Rimini Line (Romanian and Central-Southern Italian) maintained intertonic vowels, while those to the north and west (Western Romance) dropped all except /a/. Standard Italian generally maintained intertonic vowels, but typically raised unstressed /e/ > /i/. Examples:

  • septimā́nam "week" > Italian settimana, Romanian săptămână vs. Spanish/Portuguese semana, French semaine, Occitan/Catalan setmana, Piedmontese sman-a
  • quattuórdecim "fourteen" > Italian quattordici, Venetian cuatòrdexe, Lombard/Piedmontese quatòrdes, vs. Spanish catorce, Portuguese/French quatorze
  • metipsissimus[64] > medipsimus /medíssimos/ ~ /medéssimos/ "self"[65] > Italian medésimo vs. Venetian medemo, Lombard medemm, Old Spanish meísmo, meesmo (> modern mismo), Galician-Portuguese meesmo (> modern mesmo), Old French meḍisme (> later meïsme > MF mesme > modern même)[66]
  • bonitā́tem "goodness" > Italian bonità ~ bontà, Romanian bunătate but Spanish bondad, Portuguese bondade, French bonté
  • collocā́re "to position, arrange" > Italian coricare vs. Spanish colgar "to hang", Romanian culca "to lie down", French coucher "to lay sth on its side; put s.o. to bed"
  • commūnicā́re "to take communion" > Romanian cumineca vs. Portuguese comungar, Spanish comulgar, Old French comungier
  • carricā́re "to load (onto a wagon, cart)" > Portuguese/Catalan carregar vs. Spanish/Occitan cargar "to load", French charger, Lombard cargà/caregà, Venetian carigar/cargar(e) "to load"
  • fábricam "forge" > /*fawrɡa/ > Spanish fragua, Portuguese frágua, Occitan/Catalan farga, French forge
  • disjējūnā́re "to break a fast" > *disjūnā́re > Old French disner "to have lunch" > French dîner "to dine" (but *disjū́nat > Old French desjune "he has lunch" > French (il) déjeune "he has lunch")
  • adjūtā́re "to help" > Italian aiutare, Romanian ajuta but French aider, Lombard aidà/aiuttà (Spanish ayudar, Portuguese ajudar based on stressed forms, e.g. ayuda/ajuda "he helps"; cf. Old French aidier "to help" vs. aiue "he helps")

Portuguese is more conservative in maintaining some intertonic vowels other than /a/: e.g. *offerḗscere "to offer" > Portuguese oferecer vs. Spanish ofrecer, French offrir (< *offerīre). French, on the other hand, drops even intertonic /a/ after the stress: Stéphanum "Stephen" > Spanish Esteban but Old French Estievne > French Étienne. Many cases of /a/ before the stress also ultimately dropped in French: sacraméntum "sacrament" > Old French sairement > French serment "oath".

Writing systems

The Romance languages for the most part have kept the writing system of Latin, adapting it to their evolution. One exception was Romanian before the nineteenth century, where, after the Roman retreat, literacy was reintroduced through the Romanian Cyrillic alphabet, a Slavic influence. A Cyrillic alphabet was also used for Romanian (Moldovan) in the USSR. The non-Christian populations of Spain also used the scripts of their religions (Arabic and Hebrew) to write Romance languages such as Ladino and Mozarabic in aljamiado.

Letters

Spelling of results of palatalization and related sounds
Sound Spanish Portuguese French Catalan Italian Romanian
/k/, not + ⟨e, i, y⟩ ⟨c⟩
palatalized /k/ (/tʃ/~/s/~/θ/), + ⟨e, i, y⟩ ⟨c⟩
palatalized /k/ (/tʃ/~/s/~/θ/), not + ⟨e, i, y⟩ ⟨z⟩ ⟨ç⟩ ⟨ci⟩ ⟨ci⟩, ⟨ce⟩
/kw/, not + ⟨e, i, y⟩ ⟨cu⟩ ⟨qu⟩ ⟨cu⟩
/k/ + ⟨e, i⟩ (inherited) ⟨qu⟩ ⟨ch⟩
/kw/ + ⟨e, i⟩ (learned) ⟨cu⟩ ⟨qu⟩[67] ⟨qü⟩ ⟨qu⟩ -
/ku/ ? ⟨cu⟩ ⟨cou⟩ ⟨cu⟩ ⟨cü⟩ ⟨cu⟩
/g/, not + ⟨e, i, y⟩ ⟨g⟩
palatalized /k, g/
(/dʒ/~/ʒ/~/x/), + ⟨e, i, y⟩
⟨g⟩
palatalized /k, g/
(/dʒ/~/ʒ/~/x/), not + ⟨e, i, y⟩
⟨j⟩ ⟨g(e)⟩ ⟨j⟩ ⟨gi⟩ ⟨gi⟩, ⟨ge⟩
/gw/, not + ⟨e ,i⟩ ⟨gu⟩
/g/ + ⟨e, i⟩ (inherited) ⟨gu⟩ ⟨gh⟩
/gw/ + ⟨e, i⟩ (learned) ⟨gü⟩ ⟨gu⟩[68] ⟨gü⟩ ⟨gu⟩ -
/gu/ ? ? ⟨gou⟩ ⟨gü⟩ ⟨gu⟩
(former) /ʎ/ ⟨ll⟩ ⟨lh⟩ ⟨il(l)⟩ ⟨ll⟩ ⟨gli⟩ ⟨?⟩
/ɲ/ ⟨ñ⟩ ⟨nh⟩ ⟨gn⟩ ⟨ny⟩ ⟨gn⟩ ⟨?⟩

The Romance languages are written with the classical Latin alphabet of 23 letters – A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, V, X, Y, Z – subsequently modified and augmented in various ways. In particular, the single Latin letter V split into V (consonant) and U (vowel), and the letter I split into I and J. The Latin letter K and the new letter W, which came to be widely used in Germanic languages, are seldom used in most Romance languages – mostly for unassimilated foreign names and words. Indeed, in Italian prose kilometro is properly chilometro. Catalan eschews importation of "foreign" letters more than most languages. Thus Wikipedia is Viquipèdia in Catalan but Wikipedia in Spanish.

While most of the 23 basic Latin letters have maintained their phonetic value, for some of them it has diverged considerably; and the new letters added since the Middle Ages have been put to different uses in different scripts. Some letters, notably H and Q, have been variously combined in digraphs or trigraphs (see below) to represent phonetic phenomena that could not be recorded with the basic Latin alphabet, or to get around previously established spelling conventions. Most languages added auxiliary marks (diacritics) to some letters, for these and other purposes.

The spelling rules of most Romance languages are fairly simple, and consistent within any language. Since the spelling systems are based on phonemic structures rather than phonetics, however, the actual pronunciation of what is represented in standard orthography can be subject to considerable regional variation, as well as to allophonic differentiation by position in the word or utterance. Among the letters representing the most conspicuous phonological variations, between Romance languages or with respect to Latin, are the following:

B, V: Merged in Spanish and some dialects of Catalan, where both letters represent a single phoneme pronounced as either [b] or [β] depending on position, with no differentiation between B and V.
C: Generally a "hard" [k], but "soft" (fricative or affricate) before e, i, or y.
G: Generally a "hard" [ɡ], but "soft" (fricative or affricate) before e, i, or y. In some languages, like Spanish, the hard g, phonemically /g/, is pronounced as a fricative [ɣ] after vowels. In Romansch, the soft g is a voiced palatal plosive [ɟ] or a voiced alveolo-palatal affricate [dʑ].
H: Silent in most languages; used to form various digraphs. But represents [h] in Romanian, Walloon and Gascon Occitan.
J: Represents the fricative [ʒ] in most languages, or the palatal approximant [j] in Romansh and in several of the languages of Italy, and [x] or [h] in Spanish, depending on the variety. Italian does not use this letter in native words.
Q: As in Latin, its phonetic value is that of a hard c, i.e. [k], and in native words it is almost always followed by a (sometimes silent) u. Romanian does not use this letter in native words.
S: Generally voiceless [s], but voiced [z] between vowels in some languages. In Spanish, Romanian, Galician and several varieties of Italian, however, it is always pronounced voiceless between vowels. If the phoneme /s/ is represented by the letter S, predictable assimilations are normally not shown (e.g. Italian /slitta/ 'sled', spelled slitta but pronounced [zlitːa], never with [s]). Also at the end of syllables it may represent special allophonic pronunciations. In Romansh, it also stands for a voiceless or voiced fricative, [ʃ] or [ʒ], before certain consonants.
W: No Romance language uses this letter in native words, with the exception of Walloon.
X: Its pronunciation is rather variable, both between and within languages. In the Middle Ages, the languages of Iberia used this letter to denote the voiceless postalveolar fricative [ʃ], which is still the case in modern Catalan and Portuguese. With the Renaissance the classical pronunciation [ks] – or similar consonant clusters, such as [ɡz], [ɡs], or [kθ] – were frequently reintroduced in latinisms and hellenisms. In Venetian it represents [z], and in Ligurian the voiced postalveolar fricative [ʒ]. Italian does not use this letter in native words.
Y: This letter is not used in most languages, with the prominent exceptions of French and Spanish, where it represents [j] before vowels (or various similar fricatives such as the palatal fricative [ʝ], in Spanish), and the vowel [i] or semivowel [j] elsewhere.
Z: In most languages it represents the sound [z]. However, in Italian it denotes the affricates [dz] and [ts] (which are two separate phonemes, but rarely contrast; among the few examples of minimal pairs are razza "ray" with [ddz], razza "race" with [tts] (note that both are phonetically long between vowels); in Romansh the voiceless affricate [ts]; and in Galician and Spanish it denotes either the voiceless dental fricative [θ] or [s].

Otherwise, letters that are not combined as digraphs generally represent the same phonemes as suggested by the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), whose design was, in fact, greatly influenced by Romance spelling systems.

Digraphs and trigraphs

Since most Romance languages have more sounds than can be accommodated in the Roman Latin alphabet they all resort to the use of digraphs and trigraphs – combinations of two or three letters with a single phonemic value. The concept (but not the actual combinations) is derived from Classical Latin, which used, for example, TH, PH, and CH when transliterating the Greek letters "θ", "ϕ" (later "φ"), and "χ". These were once aspirated sounds in Greek before changing to corresponding fricatives, and the H represented what sounded to the Romans like an /ʰ/ following /t/, /p/, and /k/ respectively. Some of the digraphs used in modern scripts are:

CI: used in Italian, Romance languages in Italy, Corsican and Romanian to represent /tʃ/ before A, O, or U.
CH: used in Italian, Romance languages in Italy, Corsican, Romanian, Romansh and Sardinian to represent /k/ before E or I (including yod /j/); /tʃ/ in Occitan, Spanish, Astur-leonese and Galician; [c] or [tɕ] in Romansh before A, O or U; and /ʃ/ in most other languages. In Catalan it is used in some old spelling conventions for /k/.
DD: used in Sicilian and Sardinian to represent the voiced retroflex plosive /ɖ/. In recent history more accurately transcribed as DDH.
DJ: used in Walloon and Catalan for /dʒ/.
GI: used in Italian, Romance languages in Italy, Corsican and Romanian to represent /dʒ/ before A, O, or U, and in Romansh to represent [ɟi] or /dʑi/ or (before A, E, O, and U) [ɟ] or /dʑ/
GH: used in Italian, Romance languages in Italy, Corsican, Romanian, Romansh and Sardinian to represent /ɡ/ before E or I (including yod /j/), and in Galician for the voiceless pharyngeal fricative /ħ/ (not standard sound).
GL: used in Romansh before consonants and I and at the end of words for /ʎ/.
GLI: used in Italian and Corsican for /ʎʎ/ and Romansh for /ʎ/.
GN: used in French, some Romance languages in Italy, Corsican and Romansh for /ɲ/, as in champignon; in Italian to represent /ɲɲ/, as in "ogni" or "lo gnocco".
GU: used before E or I to represent /ɡ/ or /ɣ/ in all Romance languages except Italian, Romance languages in Italy, Corsican, Romansh, and Romanian, which use GH instead.
IG: used at the end of word in Catalan for /tʃ/, as in maig, safareig or enmig.
IX: used between vowels or at the end of word in Catalan for /ʃ/, as in caixa or calaix.
LH: used in Portuguese and Occitan /ʎ/.
LL: used in Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Astur-leonese, Norman and Dgèrnésiais, originally for /ʎ/ which has merged in some cases with /j/. Represents /l/ in French unless it follows I (i) when it represents /j/ (or /ʎ/ in some dialects). As in Italian, it is used in Occitan for a long /ll/.
L·L: used in Catalan for a geminate consonant /ɫɫ/.
NH: used in Portuguese and Occitan for /ɲ/, used in official Galician for /ŋ/ .
N-: used in Piedmontese and Ligurian for /ŋ/ between two vowels.
NN: used in Leonese for /ɲ/, in Italian for geminate /nn/.
NY: used in Catalan for /ɲ/.
QU: represents /kw/ in Italian, Romance languages in Italy, and Romansh; /k/ in French, Astur-leonese (normally before e or i); /k/ (before e or i) or /kw/ (normally before a or o) in Occitan, Catalan and Portuguese; /k/ in Spanish (always before e or i).
RR: used between vowels in several languages (Occitan, Catalan, Spanish) to denote a trilled /r/ or a guttural R, instead of the flap /ɾ/.
SC: used before E or I in Italian, Romance languages in Italy as /ʃʃ/, in European Portuguese as /ʃˈs/ and in French, Brazilian Portuguese, Catalan and Latin American Spanish as /s/ in words of certain etymology (notice this would represent /θ/ in standard peninsular Spanish)
SCH: used in Romansh for [ʃ] or [ʒ], in Italian for /sk/ before "E"or "I", including yod /j/.
SCI: used in Italian, Romance languages in Italy, and Corsican to represent /ʃ/ or /ʃʃ/ before A, O, or U.
SH: used in Aranese Occitan for /ʃ/.
SS: used in French, Portuguese, Piedmontese, Romansh, Occitan, and Catalan for /s/ between vowels, in Italian, Romance languages of Italy, and Corsican for long /ss/.
TS: used in Catalan for /ts/.
TG: used in Romansh for [c] or [tɕ]. In Catalan is used for /dʒ/ before E and I, as in metge or fetge.
TH: used in Jèrriais for /θ/; used in Aranese for either /t/ or /tʃ/.
TJ: used between vowels and before A, O or U, in Catalan for /dʒ/, as in sotjar or mitjó.
TSCH: used in Romansh for [tʃ].
TX: used at the beginning or at the end of word or between vowels in Catalan for /tʃ/, as in txec, esquitx or atxa.
TZ: used in Catalan for /dz/.

While the digraphs CH, PH, RH and TH were at one time used in many words of Greek origin, most languages have now replaced them with C/QU, F, R and T. Only French has kept these etymological spellings, which now represent /k/ or /ʃ/, /f/, /ʀ/ and /t/, respectively.

Double consonants

Gemination, in the languages where it occurs, is usually indicated by doubling the consonant, except when it does not contrast phonemically with the corresponding short consonant, in which case gemination is not indicated. In Jèrriais, long consonants are marked with an apostrophe: s's is a long /zz/, ss's is a long /ss/, and t't is a long /tt/. The phonemic contrast between geminate and single consonants is widespread in Italian, and normally indicated in the traditional orthography: fatto /fatto/ 'done' vs. fato /fato/ 'fate, destiny'; cadde /kadde/ 's/he, it fell' vs. cade /kade/ 's/he, it falls'. The double consonants in French orthography, however, are merely etymological. In Catalan, the gemination of l is marked by a punt volat ("flying point"): l·l.

Diacritics

Romance languages also introduced various marks (diacritics) that may be attached to some letters, for various purposes. In some cases, diacritics are used as an alternative to digraphs and trigraphs; namely to represent a larger number of sounds than would be possible with the basic alphabet, or to distinguish between sounds that were previously written the same. Diacritics are also used to mark word stress, to indicate exceptional pronunciation of letters in certain words, and to distinguish words with same pronunciation (homophones).

Depending on the language, some letter-diacritic combinations may be considered distinct letters, e.g. for the purposes of lexical sorting. This is the case, for example, of Romanian ș ([ʃ]) and Spanish ñ ([ɲ]).

The following are the most common use of diacritics in Romance languages.

  • Vowel quality: the system of marking close-mid vowels with an acute accent, é, and open-mid vowels with a grave accent, è, is widely used (e.g. Catalan, French, Italian). Portuguese, however, uses the circumflex (ê) for the former, and the acute (é), for the latter. Some minority Romance languages use an umlaut (diaeresis mark) in the case of ä, ö, ü to indicate fronted vowel variants, as in German. Centralized vowels (/ɐ/, /ə/) are indicated variously (â in Portuguese, ă/î in Romanian, ë in Piedmontese, etc.). In French, Occitan and Romanian, these accents are used whenever necessary to distinguish the appropriate vowel quality, but in the other languages, they are used only when it is necessary to mark unpredictable stress, or in some cases to distinguish homophones.
  • Vowel length: French uses a circumflex to indicate what had been a long vowel (although nowadays this rather indicates a difference in vowel quality, if it has any effect at all on pronunciation). This same usage is found in some minority languages.
  • Nasality: Portuguese marks nasal vowels with a tilde (ã) when they occur before other written vowels and in some other instances.
  • Palatalization: some historical palatalizations are indicated with the cedilla (ç) in French, Catalan, Occitan and Portuguese. In Spanish and several other world languages influenced by it, the grapheme ñ represents a palatal nasal consonant.
  • Separate pronunciation: when a vowel and another letter that would normally be combined into a digraph with a single sound are exceptionally pronounced apart, this is often indicated with a diaeresis mark on the vowel. This is particularly common in the case of /gw/ before e or i, because plain gu in this case would be pronounced /g/. This usage occurs in Spanish, French, Catalan and Occitan, and occurred before the 2009 spelling reform in Brazilian Portuguese. French also uses the diaeresis on the second of two adjacent vowels to indicate that both are pronounced separately, as in Noël "Christmas" and haïr "to hate".
  • Stress: the stressed vowel in a polysyllabic word may be indicated with an accent, when it cannot be predicted by rule. In Italian, Portuguese and Catalan, the choice of accent (acute, grave or circumflex) may depend on vowel quality. When no quality needs to be indicated, an acute accent is normally used (ú), but Italian and Romansh use a grave accent (ù). Portuguese puts a diacritic on all stressed monosyllables that end in a e o as es os, to distinguish them from unstressed function words: chá "tea", más "bad (fem. pl.)", "seat (of government)", "give! (imperative)", mês "month", "only", nós "we" (cf. mas "but", se "if/oneself", de "of", nos "us"). Word-final stressed vowels in polysyllables are marked by the grave accent in Italian, thus università "university/universities", virtù "virtue/virtues", resulting in occasional minimal or near-minimal pairs such as parlo "I speak" ≠ parlò "s/he spoke", capi "heads, bosses" ≠ capì "s/he understood", gravita "it, s'/he gravitates" ≠ gravità "gravity, seriousness".
  • Homophones: words (especially monosyllables) that are pronounced exactly or nearly the same way and are spelled identically, but have different meanings, can be differentiated by a diacritic. Typically, if one of the pair is stressed and the other isn't, the stressed word gets the diacritic, using the appropriate diacritic for notating stressed syllables (see above). Portuguese does this consistently as part of notating stress in certain monosyllables, whether or not there is an unstressed homophone (see examples above). Spanish also has many pairs of identically pronounced words distinguished by an acute accent on the stressed word: si "if" vs. "yes", mas "but" vs. más "more", mi "my" vs. "me", se "oneself" vs. "I know", te "you (object)" vs. "tea", que/quien/cuando/como "that/who/when/how" vs. qué/quién/cuándo/cómo "what?/who?/when?/how?", etc. A similar strategy is common for monosyllables in writing Italian, but not necessarily determined by stress: stressed "it, s/he gives" vs. unstressed da "by, from", but also "tea" and te "you", both capable of bearing phrasal stress. Catalan has some pairs where both words are stressed, and one is distinguished by a vowel-quality diacritic, e.g. os "bone" vs. ós "bear". When no vowel-quality needs distinguishing, French and Catalan use a grave accent: French ou "or" vs. "where", French la "the" vs. "there", Catalan ma "my" vs. "hand".

Upper and lower case

Most languages are written with a mixture of two distinct but phonetically identical variants or "cases" of the alphabet: majuscule ("uppercase" or "capital letters"), derived from Roman stone-carved letter shapes, and minuscule ("lowercase"), derived from Carolingian writing and Medieval quill pen handwriting which were later adapted by printers in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

In particular, all Romance languages capitalize (use uppercase for the first letter of) the following words: the first word of each complete sentence, most words in names of people, places, and organizations, and most words in titles of books. The Romance languages do not follow the German practice of capitalizing all nouns including common ones. Unlike English, the names of months, days of the weeks, and derivatives of proper nouns are usually not capitalized: thus, in Italian one capitalizes Francia ("France") and Francesco ("Francis"), but not francese ("French") or francescano ("Franciscan"). However, each language has some exceptions to this general rule.

Vocabulary comparison

The tables below provide a vocabulary comparison that illustrates a number of examples of sound shifts that have occurred between Latin and Romance languages. Words are given in their conventional spellings. In addition, for French the actual pronunciation is given, due to the dramatic differences between spelling and pronunciation. (French spelling approximately reflects the pronunciation of Old French, c. 1200 AD.)

English Latin Sardinian[69]
(Nuorese)
Romanian Sicilian[70][71][72] Corsican
(Northern)
Italian Venetian Ligurian[73] Emilian Lombard Piedmontese[74] Friulian[75] Romansh Arpitan[76] French Occitan[77] Catalan Aragonese[78] Spanish Asturian[79] Portuguese Galician
man homō, hominem ómine om omu omu uomo om(en)o òmmo òm(en) òm(en) òm om um homo homme /ɔm/ òme home om(br)e hombre home homem home
woman, wife Domina, femina, mulier, mulierem Fémina, muzère femeie, muiere mugghieri donna, moglie donna mujer mogê/dònna mujér dòna/fomna,
miee/moglier
fomna muîr muglier fèna femme /fam/
OF moillier
femna/molhèr
OOc mólher (nom.) /
molhér (obj.)
dona, muller muller mujer muyer mulher muller
son fīlium fízu fiu figghiu figliu/figliolu figlio fio figeu fiōl fiœl fieul fi figl, fegl fily, fely fils /fis/ filh fill fillo hijo fíu filho fillo
water aquam àbba apă acqua acqua acqua acua ægoa aqua aqua/ova/eiva eva aghe aua égoua eau /o/ aiga aigua aigua, augua agua agua água auga
fire focum fócu foc focu focu fuoco fogo fêugo foeugh fœg feu fûc fieu fuè feu /fø/ fuòc foc fuego fuego fueu fogo fogo
rain pluviam próida ploaie chiuvuta[80] pioggia pioggia pióva ciêuva pioeuva piœva pieuva ploe plievgia pllove pluie /plɥi/ pluèja pluja plebia lluvia lluvia chuva choiva
land terram tèrra țară terra terra terra tera tæra tera terra tèra tiere terra/tiara tèrra terre /tɛʁ/ tèrra terra tierra tierra tierra terra terra
sky caelum chélu cer celu celu cielo çiél çê cēl cel cel cîl tschiel cièl ciel /sjɛl/ cèl cel zielo cielo cielu céu ceo
high altum àrtu înalt autu altu alto alto èrto élt alt/(v)olt àut alt aut hiôt haut[81] /o/ n-aut alt alto alto altu alto alto
new novum nóbu nou novu novu nuovo nóvo nêuvo noeuv nœv neuv gnove nov nôvo, nôf neuf /nœf/ nòu nou nuebo nuevo nuevu novo novo
horse caballum càdhu cal cavaddu cavallu cavallo cavało cavàllo cavàl cavall caval ĉhaval chaval chevâl cheval
/ʃ(ə)val/
caval cavall caballo caballo caballu cavalo cabalo
dog canem càne/jàgaru câine cani cane cane can càn can can/ca can cjan chaun chin chien
/ʃjɛ̃/
can ca, gos can can/perro can cão can
do facere fàchere face(re) fari/fàciri fare far far far fére, fâr faire /fɛːʁ/ far/fàser fer fer hacer facer fazer facer
milk lactem làte lapte latti latte latte late læte latt lacc/lat làit lat latg lacél, lat lait /lɛ/ lach llet leit leche lleche leite leite
eye oculum > *oclum ócru ochi occhiu ochiu/ochju occhio ocio éugio òć œgg euj voli egl uely œil /œj/ uèlh ull güello ojo güeyu olho ollo
ear auriculam > *oriclam orícra ureche auricchia orecchiu/orechju orecchio orécia oêgia uréć oregia/orecia orija orele ureglia orelye oreille
/ɔʁɛj/
aurelha orella orella oreja oreya orelha orella
tongue/
language
linguam límba limbǎ lingua lingua lingua léngua léngoa léngua lengua lenga lenghe lingua lengoua langue /lɑ̃ɡ/ lenga llengua luenga lengua llingua língua lingua
hand manum mànu mână manu manu mano man màn man man/ma man man maun man main /mɛ̃/ man man mano mano mão [mɐ̃w̃] man
skin pellem pèdhe piele peddi pelle pelle pełe pélle pèl pell pel piel pel pêl peau /po/ pèl pell piel piel piel pele pel
I ego (d)ègo eu eu/jè/ju eiu io (mi)[82] a (mi)[82] a (mì/mè)[82] a (mi/mé)[82] a (mi)[82] i/a/e jo jau je je /ʒə/, moi /mwa/[82] ieu/jo jo yo yo yo eu eu
our nostrum nóstru nostru nostru nostru nostro nostro nòstro noster nòst/nòster nòst nestri noss noutron notre /nɔtʁ/ nòstre nostre nuestro nuestro nuesu,[83] nuestru nosso[83] noso[83]
three trēs tres trei tri tre tre tre tréi (m)/

træ (f)

trii tri (m)/
tre (f)
trè tre trais trê trois /tʁwɑ/ tres tres tres tres trés três tres
four quattuor >
*quattro
bàtoro patru quattru quattru quattro cuatro quàttro quàtar quàter quatr cuatri quat(t)er quatro quatre /katʁ/ quatre quatre cuatre, cuatro cuatro cuatro quatro catro
five quīnque >
*cīnque
chímbe cinci cincu cinque cinque çincue çìnque sinc cinc/sic sinch cinc tschintg cinq cinq /sɛ̃k/ cinc cinc zinco, zingo cinco cinco, cincu cinco cinco
six sex ses șase sia sei sei sìe sêi siē sex /ses/ ses sîs sis siéx six /sis/ sièis sis seis/sais seis seis seis seis
seven septem sète șapte setti sette sette sete sètte sèt set set siet se(a)t, siat sèpt sept /sɛt/ sèt set siet(e) siete siete sete sete
eight octō òto opt ottu ottu otto oto éuto òt vòt/òt eut vot ot(g), och huét huit /ɥit/ uèch vuit güeito, ueito ocho ocho oito oito
nine novem nòbe nouă novi nove nove nove nêuve nóv nœv neuv nûv no(u)v nôf neuf /nœf/ nòu nou nueu nueve nueve nove nove
ten decem dèche zece deci dece dieci diéxe dêxe déś dex /des/ des dîs diesch diéx dix /dis/ dètz deu diez diez diez dez dez
English Latin Sardinian
(Nuorese)
Romanian Sicilian Corsican
(Northern)
Italian Venetian Ligurian Emilian Lombard Piedmontese Friulian Romansh Arpitan French Occitan Catalan Aragonese Spanish Asturian Portuguese Galician

Degrees of lexical similarity among the Romance languages

Data from Ethnologue:[84]

% Sardinian Italian French Spanish Portuguese Catalan Romansh
Italian 85(a)
French 80 89
Spanish 76 82 75
Portuguese 76 80 75 89
Catalan 75 87 85 85 85
Romansh 74 78 78 74 74 76
Romanian 74 77 75 71 72 73 72

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Herman, József; Wright, Roger (Translator) (2000). Vulgar Latin. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 96–115. ISBN 0-271-02001-6.
  2. ^ "Catalan". Ethnologue. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  3. ^ «Classifications that are not based on family trees usually involve ranking languages according to degree of differentiation rather than grouping them; thus, if the Romance languages are compared with Latin, it is seen that by most measures Sardinian and Italian are least differentiated and French most (though in vocabulary Romanian has changed most).» Marius Sala; et al. "Romance languages". Britannica.com.
  4. ^ Pei, Mario (1949). "A New Methodology for Romance Classification". WORD. 5 (2): 135–146. doi:10.1080/00437956.1949.11659494.
  5. ^ For example, a 1949 study by Pei, analyzing the degree of difference from a language's parent (Latin, in the case of Romance languages) by comparing phonology, inflection, syntax, vocabulary, and intonation, indicated the following percentages (the higher the percentage, the greater the distance from Latin): Sardinian 8%, Italian 12%, Spanish 20%, Romanian 23.5%, Occitan 25%, Portuguese 31%, and French 44%.
  6. ^ M. Paul Lewis, "Summary by language size", Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth Edition.
  7. ^ David Dalby (1999). The Linguasphere register of the world's languages and speech communities (PDF). 2. Oxford, England: Observatoire Linguistique, Linguasphere Press. pp. 390–410 (zone 51). Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  8. ^ Ilari, Rodolfo (2002). Lingüística Românica. Ática. p. 50. ISBN 85-08-04250-7.
  9. ^ "romance | Origin and meaning of romance by Online Etymology Dictionary". www.etymonline.com. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  10. ^ "Romance languages". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  11. ^ Sardos etiam, qui non Latii sunt sed Latiis associandi videntur, eiciamus, quoniam soli sine proprio vulgari esse videntur, gramaticam tanquam simie homines imitantes: nam domus nova et dominus meus locuntur. ["As for the Sardinians, who are not Italian but may be associated with Italians for our purposes, out they must go, because they alone seem to lack a vernacular of their own, instead imitating gramatica as apes do humans: for they say domus nova [my house] and dominus meus [my master]." (English translation provided by Dante Online, De Vulgari Eloquentia, I-xi)] It is unclear whether this indicates that Sardinian still had a two-case system at the time; modern Sardinian lacks grammatical case.
  12. ^ "Dante's Peek". Online Etymology Dictionary. 2020.
  13. ^ Jaberg, Karl and Jud, Jakob, Sprach- und Sachatlas Italiens und der Südschweiz, Vol.1-8, Bern: Zofingen, 1928-1940; Karte 1045: QUELLA VACCA, Karte 342: UNA NOTTE (Online access: [1])
  14. ^ a b Zhang, Huiying (2015). "From Latin to the Romance languages: A normal evolution to what extent?" (PDF). Quarterly Journal of Chinese Studies. 3 (4): 105–111. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-01-19. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  15. ^ Ruhlen M. (1987). A guide to the world's languages, Stanford University Press, Stanford.
  16. ^ Jones, Michael Allan (1990). "Sardinian". In Harris, Martin; Vincent, Nigel (eds.). The Romance Languages. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 314–350. ISBN 978-0-19-520829-0.
  17. ^ Loporcaro, Michele (2011). "Phonological Processes". In Maiden; et al. (eds.). The Cambridge History of the Romance Languages: Volume 1, Structures.
  18. ^ Ledgeway, Adam; Maiden, Martin (2016). The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages. Oxford University Press. p. 248ff. ISBN 978-0-19-967710-8.
  19. ^ Dalbera-Stefanaggi, Marie-Josée (2002). La langue corse (1st ed.). Paris: Presses universitaires de France. ISBN 978-2-13-052946-0. Compare comment 1 at the blog Language Hat and comment 2.
  20. ^ "NEO-ROMANTICISM IN LANGUAGE PLANNING (Edo BERNASCONI)". Archived from the original on 2015-02-04.
  21. ^ "NEO-ROMANTICISM IN LANGUAGE PLANNING (Edo BERNASCONI)". Archived from the original on 2015-07-10.
  22. ^ Peano, Giuseppe (1903). De Latino Sine Flexione. Lingua Auxiliare Internationale [2], Revista de Mathematica (Revue de Mathématiques), Tomo VIII, pp. 74–83. Fratres Bocca Editores: Torino.
  23. ^ "Eall fhoil de Bhreathanach". Archived from the original on June 10, 2008.
  24. ^ Henrik Theiling (2007-10-28). "Þrjótrunn: A North Romance Language: History". Kunstsprachen.de. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
  25. ^ "Relay 10/R – Jelbazech". Steen.free.fr. 2004-08-28. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
  26. ^ See Portuguese in Africa.
  27. ^ See Portuguese in Asia and Oceania.
  28. ^ See list of countries where Portuguese is an official language.
  29. ^ I.S. Nistor, "Istoria românilor din Transnistria" (The history of Romanians from Transnistria), București, 1995
  30. ^ Djuvara Neagu, "La Diaspora aroumaine aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles " In: Les Aroumains, Paris : Publications Langues’O, 1989 (Cahiers du Centre d’étude des civilisations d’Europe centrale et du Sud-Est; 8). P. 95-125.
  31. ^ 1993 Statistical Abstract of Israel reports 250,000 speakers of Romanian in Israel, while the 1995 census puts the total figure of the Israeli population at 5,548,523
  32. ^ "Reports of about 300,000 Jews who left the country after WW2". Eurojewcong.org. Archived from the original on 2006-08-31. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
  33. ^ "Encarta Dictionary". Microsoft Encarta 2006. Archived from the original on 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
  34. ^ "Ethnologue". SIL Haley. 3 October 2018.
  35. ^ Percy, Thomas (1887). Reliques of Ancient English Poetry: Consisting of Old Heroic Ballads, Songs, Etc. Abe Books. p. 289.
  36. ^ The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature, and General Information. 28 (11 ed.). 1957. p. 167.
  37. ^ Bereznay, András (2011). Erdély történetének atlasza [Atlas of the History of Transylvania]. Méry Ratio. p. 63. ISBN 978-80-89286-45-4.
  38. ^ Rochette, p. 550
  39. ^ Stefan Zimmer, "Indo-European," in Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia (ABC-Clio, 2006), p. 961
  40. ^ Curchin, Leonard A. (1995). "Literacy in the Roman Provinces: Qualitative and Quantitative Data from Central Spain". The American Journal of Philology. 116 (3): 461–476 (464). doi:10.2307/295333. JSTOR 295333.
  41. ^ Herman, Jozsef (1 November 2010). Vulgar Latin. Penn State Press. ISBN 978-0-271-04177-3., pp. 108–115
  42. ^ a b Harris, Martin; Vincent, Nigel (2001). Romance Languages. London, England, UK: Routledge.
  43. ^ Vlad Georgescu, The Romanians: A History, Ohio State University Press, Columbus, p.12
  44. ^ Ioan-Aurel Pop, "On the Significance of Certain Names: Romanian/Wallachian and Romania/Wallachia" (PDF). Retrieved 18 June 2018
  45. ^ Vlad Georgescu, The Romanians: A History, Ohio State University Press, Columbus, p.13
  46. ^ a b c d Price, Glanville (1984). The French language: past and present. London: Grant and Cutler Ltd.
  47. ^ "Na" is a contraction of "em" (in) + "a" (the), the form "em a" is never used, it is always replaced by "na". The same happens with other prepositions: "de" (of) + o/a/os/as (singular and plural forms for "the" in masculine and feminine) = do, da, dos, das; etc.
  48. ^ Verb; literally means "to put in mouth"
  49. ^ Ilona Czamańska, "Vlachs and Slavs in the Middle Ages and Modern Era", Res Historica, 41, Lublin, 2016
  50. ^ van Durme, Luc (2002). "Genesis and Evolution of the Romance-Germanic Language Border in Europe". In Treffers-Daller, Jeanine; Willemyns, Roland (eds.). Language Contact at the Romance–Germanic Language Border (PDF). Multilingual Matters. p. 13. ISBN 9781853596278.
  51. ^ Note that the current Portuguese spelling (Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement of 1990) abolished the use of the diaeresis for this purpose.
  52. ^ Pope (1934).
  53. ^ Rodney Sampson, Vowel Prosthesis in Romance: A Diachronic Study (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010), 63.
  54. ^ Allen (2003) states: "There appears to have been no great difference in quality between long and short a, but in the case of the close and mid vowels (i and u, e and o) the long appear to have been appreciably closer than the short." He then goes on to the historical development, quotations from various authors (from around the second century AD), as well as evidence from older inscriptions where "e" stands for normally short i, and "i" for long e, etc.
  55. ^ Technically, Sardinian is one of the Southern Romance languages. The same vowel outcome occurred in a small strip running across southern Italy (the Lausberg Zone), and is thought to have occurred in the Romance languages of northern Africa.
  56. ^ Palmer (1954).
  57. ^ cauda would produce French **choue, Italian */kɔda/, Occitan **cauda, Romanian **caudă.
  58. ^ Kaze, Jeffery W. (1991). "Metaphony and Two Models for the Description of Vowel Systems". Phonology. 8 (1): 163–170. doi:10.1017/s0952675700001329. JSTOR 4420029.
  59. ^ Calabrese, Andrea. "Metaphony" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  60. ^ "ALVARO ARIAS CABAL - Publicaciones". personales.uniovi.es.
  61. ^ a b Penny, Ralph (1994). "Continuity and Innovation in Romance: Metaphony and Mass-Noun Reference in Spain and Italy". The Modern Language Review. 89 (2): 273–281. doi:10.2307/3735232. JSTOR 3735232.
  62. ^ Álvaro Arias. "La armonización vocálica en fonología funcional (de lo sintagmático en fonología a propósito de dos casos de metafonía hispánica) Archived 2018-01-19 at the Wayback Machine", Moenia 11 (2006): 111–139.
  63. ^ Note that the outcome of -am -em -om would be the same regardless of whether lengthening occurred, and that -im was already rare in Classical Latin, and appears to have barely survived in Proto-Romance. The only likely survival is in "-teen" numerals such as trēdecim "thirteen" > Italian tredici. This favors the vowel-lengthening hypothesis -im > /ĩː/ > /i/; but notice unexpected decem > Italian dieci (rather than expected *diece). It is possible that dieci comes from *decim, which analogically replaced decem based on the -decim ending; but it is also possible that the final /i/ in dieci represents an irregular development of some other sort and that the process of analogy worked in the other direction.
  64. ^ The Latin forms are attested; metipsissimus is the superlative of the formative -metipse, found for example in egometipse "myself in person"
  65. ^ Ralph Penny, A History of the Spanish Language, 2nd edn. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002), 144.
  66. ^ Espinosa, Aurelio M. (1911). "Metipsimus in Spanish and French". PMLA. 26 (2): 356–378. doi:10.2307/456649. JSTOR 456649.
  67. ^ Formerly ⟨qü⟩ in Brazilian Portuguese
  68. ^ Formerly ⟨gü⟩ in Brazilian Portuguese
  69. ^ "Ditzionàriu in línia de sa limba e de sa cultura sarda, Regione Autònoma de sa Sardigna". Archived from the original on 2017-10-08. Retrieved 2013-09-14.
  70. ^ "Sicilian–English Dictionary". Italian.about.com. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
  71. ^ "Dictionary Sicilian – Italian". Utenti.lycos.it. Archived from the original on 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
  72. ^ "Indo-European Languages". Retrieved 2013-09-18.
  73. ^ "Traduttore Italiano Genovese - TIG".
  74. ^ "Grand Dissionari Piemontèis / Grande Dizionario Piemontese". Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  75. ^ "Dictionary English–Friulian Friulian–English". Sangiorgioinsieme.it. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
  76. ^ "Lo trèsor arpitan".
  77. ^ Beaumont (2008-12-16). "Occitan–English Dictionary". Freelang.net. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
  78. ^ "English Aragonese Dictionary Online". Glosbe. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
  79. ^ "English Asturian Dictionary Online". Glosbe. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
  80. ^ Developed from *pluviūtam.
  81. ^ Initial h- due to contamination of Germanic *hauh "high". Although no longer pronounced, it reveals its former presence by inhibiting elision of a preceding schwa, e.g. le haut "the high" vs. l'eau "the water".
  82. ^ a b c d e f Cognate with Latin , not ego. Note that this parallels the state of affairs in Celtic, where the cognate of ego is not attested anywhere, and the use of the accusative form cognate to has been extended to cover the nominative, as well.
  83. ^ a b c Developed from an assimilated form *nossum rather than from nostrum.
  84. ^ Ethnologue, Languages of the World, 15th edition, SIL International, 2005.

References

Overviews:

  • Frederick Browning Agard. A Course in Romance Linguistics. Vol. 1: A Synchronic View, Vol. 2: A Diachronic View. Georgetown University Press, 1984.
  • Harris, Martin; Vincent, Nigel (1988). The Romance Languages. London: Routledge. Reprint 2003.
  • Posner, Rebecca (1996). The Romance Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Gerhard Ernst et al., eds. Romanische Sprachgeschichte: Ein internationales Handbuch zur Geschichte der romanischen Sprachen. 3 vols. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2003 (vol. 1), 2006 (vol. 2).
  • Alkire, Ti; Rosen, Carol (2010). Romance Languages: A Historical Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Martin Maiden, John Charles Smith & Adam Ledgeway, eds., The Cambridge History of the Romance Languages. Vol. 1: Structures, Vol. 2: Contexts. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2011 (vol. 1) & 2013 (vol. 2).
  • Martin Maiden & Adam Ledgeway, eds. The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Lindenbauer, Petrea; Metzeltin, Michael; Thir, Margit (1995). Die romanischen Sprachen. Eine einführende Übersicht. Wilhelmsfeld: G. Egert.
  • Metzeltin, Michael (2004). Las lenguas románicas estándar. Historia de su formación y de su uso. Uviéu: Academia de la Llingua Asturiana.

Phonology:

  • Boyd-Bowman, Peter (1980). From Latin to Romance in Sound Charts. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
  • Cravens, Thomas D. Comparative Historical Dialectology: Italo-Romance Clues to Ibero-Romance Sound Change. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2002.
  • Sónia Frota & Pilar Prieto, eds. Intonation in Romance. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2015.
  • Christoph Gabriel & Conxita Lleó, eds. Intonational Phrasing in Romance and Germanic: Cross-Linguistic and Bilingual studies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2011.
  • Philippe Martin. The Structure of Spoken Language: Intonation in Romance. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2016.
  • Rodney Sampson. Vowel Prosthesis in Romance. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010.

Lexicon:

  • Holtus, Günter; Metzeltin, Michael; Schmitt, Christian (1988). Lexikon der Romanistischen Linguistik. (LRL, 12 volumes). Tübingen: Niemeyer.

French:

  • Price, Glanville (1971). The French language: present and past. Edward Arnold.
  • Kibler, William W. (1984). An introduction to Old French. New York: Modern Language Association of America.
  • Lodge, R. Anthony (1993). French: From Dialect to Standard. London: Routledge.

Portuguese:

  • Williams, Edwin B. (1968). From Latin to Portuguese, Historical Phonology and Morphology of the Portuguese Language (2nd ed.). University of Pennsylvania.
  • Wetzels, W. Leo; Menuzzi, Sergio; Costa, João (2016). The Handbook of Portuguese Linguistics. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Spanish:

  • Penny, Ralph (2002). A History of the Spanish Language (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Lapesa, Rafael (1981). Historia de la Lengua Española. Madrid: Editorial Gredos.
  • Pharies, David (2007). A Brief History History of the Spanish Language. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Zamora Vicente, Alonso (1967). Dialectología Española (2nd ed.). Madrid: Editorial Gredos.

Italian:

  • Devoto, Giacomo; Giacomelli, Gabriella (2002). I Dialetti delle Regioni d'Italia (3rd ed.). Milano: RCS Libri (Tascabili Bompiani).
  • Devoto, Giacomo (1999). Il Linguaggio d'Italia. Milano: RCS Libri (Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli).
  • Maiden, Martin (1995). A Linguistic History of Italian. London: Longman.

Rhaeto-Romance:

  • John Haiman & Paola Benincà, eds., The Rhaeto-Romance Languages. London: Routledge, 1992.

External links