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Romance language most similar to Latin.

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JW
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 Message 25 of 42
24 July 2009 at 7:23pm | IP Logged 
Here is a link to a discussion on this topic from another forum (in French) with a poll. The results were: 1. Romanian 2. Sardinian 3. Italian:

http://projetbabel.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10349

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William Camden
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 Message 26 of 42
24 July 2009 at 10:06pm | IP Logged 
Romanian is rather poorly recorded for most of its history, and the standard modern language was, I believe, partly created with both modern Romance languages and Latin in mind.

Romance languages generally were not well-recorded enough in the early Middle Ages to make it clear when Vulgar Latin stopped and the earliest versions of French, Castilian, Italian etc. began. The process was probably both gradual and not reduced to writing. It is one of the most fascinating areas of historical language development.
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Iversen
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 Message 27 of 42
25 July 2009 at 10:21am | IP Logged 
It is a repost, but I did quote some authentic Romance examples from the early Middle ages and onwards in this thread.. But Romanian isn't attested before 1512, according to this article in Wikipedia. It is a letter from a certain Neacşu from Braşov. In modern orthography Romanian from this period looks like this (the first sentence is is in some kind of Slavonic language, the rest is Romanian):

Mudromu I plemenitomu, I cistitomu I bogom darovanomu jupan Hanăş Bengner ot Braşov mnogo zdravie ot Nécşu ot Dlăgopole.
I pak dau ştire domnie tale za lucrul turcilor, cum am auzit eu că împăratul au eşit den Sofiia, şi aimintrea nu e, şi se-au dus în sus pre Dunăre.
I pak să ştii domniia ta că au venit un om de la Nicopole de miie me-au spus că au văzut cu ochii lor că au trecut ciale corăbii ce ştii şi domniia ta pre Dunăre în sus.
I pak să ştii că bagă den toate oraşele câte 50 de omin să fie de ajutor în corăbii.
(...)

Original as transcribed from Cyrillic (without inserted letters and with o instead of ω):

i pa dau štire donïetale za lukru tučilo kum amĭ auzi èu kŭ ĩpŭratu au èši de sofïę ši aimitrě nue ši sěu du ĩ su pre dunŭre
i pa sŭ štïi donïjata kŭ au veni u o de la nikopoe de mïe mě spu kŭ au vŭzu ku okïi loi kŭ au treku čěle korabïi če štïi ši donïjata pre dunŭre ĩ su
i pak sŭ štïi kŭ bagŭ den tote orašele kŭte 50 de omi sŭ ę fïe ĩn ažuto ĩ korabïi


I still think that Romanian has moved further away from Latin than Sardic and even Italian, and a poll by people who don't know at least Romanian and Italian won't change my opinion.


Edited by Iversen on 29 July 2009 at 10:25am

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JW
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 Message 28 of 42
25 July 2009 at 6:23pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
I still think that Romanian has moved further away from Latin than Sardic and even Italian, and a poll by people who don't know at least Romanian and Italian won't change my opinion.

That’s a good point, it would seem that the number of people qualified to answer the question is quite limited.

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densou
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 Message 29 of 42
29 July 2009 at 2:25am | IP Logged 
JW wrote:
That’s a good point, it would seem that the number of people qualified to answer the question is quite limited.


Neither me .... Sardinia is far away from my town and unfortunately I hadn't Latin at school (it was teacher's choice).

Anyway, here you are: http://www.pittau.it/ [ITALIAN ONLY]
Let me know if that website was useful for solving the matter ;)


Trivia: Sardinians may be offended if you call a mere dialect their language ;)
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JW
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 Message 30 of 42
29 July 2009 at 4:54am | IP Logged 
densou wrote:
Anyway, here you are: http://www.pittau.it/ [ITALIAN ONLY]
Let me know if that website was useful for solving the matter ;)

Trivia: Sardinians may be offended if you call a mere dialect their language ;)

Interesting site. Quite a treasure-trove if you are interested in Sardinian or Etruscan.

The Sardinians call their language "Limba Sarda" and the Italians call it "Lingua Sarda" thus a language.

Edit: By the way, neither Sardinian nor Etruscan is in our forum's language listing.

Edited by JW on 29 July 2009 at 5:06am

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Iversen
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 Message 31 of 42
29 July 2009 at 9:54am | IP Logged 
Etruscan is not in our langage listing because there isn't enough sufficient inscriptions left to reconstruct it and therefore nobody can learn it. It is said that emperor Claudius was one of the last persons that knew Etruscan, but unfortunately he didn't write a book about it.

Sardic (or Sardinian) is in another situation. It is still spoken (though probably not by all inhabitants of Sardinia) and has something like five dialects, though recently a 'common' orthography has been established (which not all speakers of Sardinian accept). Its historical pedigree is impeccable as it contains features that has separated it from everything on the Italian mainland at least since Roman times. Besides the differences are clearly big enough in this case to say that it is an independent language.

The only remaining question is whether it is treated like a language or like a dialect by those that speak it - i.e. do those that speak it see it as a kind of Italian or as a thing that is separate from Italian. Do they think they speak Italian with just a few regionalisms? There is potentially a continuus line from speaking 'common' Italian like you hear it on TV to speaking one of the dialects in its uncompromisingly traditional pure form. Are people moving freely among these alternatives or maybe even clustering in the middle, according to the situation? Or is the middle empty and people speak either Sardic OR Italian (with or without regionalisms)?

If you have a small and threatened 'speak' and the alternative is a strong and offical norm strongly supported by the state then the actual history of the language may not be that important, - the weaker form will eventually be relegated to the status of dialect unless the speakers mount a conscious revolt (like the Catalans did).

Maybe even some or most of its 'native speakers' will betray their native speech because they see it as a hindrance to getting rich and powerful in their society. That happened to Low German which clearly was a language in its own right around 1500, but now is mostly described as a dialect - just because Luther wrote the Bible in a dialect from central Germany. That is also what has happened to Swiss German - and clearly with the consent of the speakers - in spite of the fact that few 'German' Germans can understand a Swiss-German speaking his/her local dialect.

And I daresay it is also what has happened to the dialects/languages of Northern Italy, which until fairly recently were very different from everything spoken further down the peninsula. I made a study of this question a few years ago, and it was pretty clear that the newer the source the more it ressembled standard Tuscan-based Italian. The thing that has slowed down this development on Sardinia can only be its geography, being an island quite far from the mainland. And now in the digital era distance may not be enough, - now it first and foremost is a matter of attitude.


Edited by Iversen on 29 July 2009 at 10:20am

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JW
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 Message 32 of 42
29 July 2009 at 1:59pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
Sardic (or Sardinian) is in another situation. It is still spoken (though probably not by all inhabitants of Sardinia) and has something like five dialects..

..its geography, being an island quite far from the mainland.

This jogged my memory and made me think of Corsican (Corsu or Lingua Corsa). I did a bit of quick research and it seems like there is a language continuum that spans Sardinia and Corsica with the northern part of Sardinia and the southern part of Corsica overlapping vis-à-vis dialects:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corsican_language




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