Social Variation and the Latin Language

Social Variation and the Latin Language

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J. N. Adams
Cambridge University Press, 5/23/2013
EAN 9780521886147, ISBN10: 0521886147

Hardcover, 956 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 4.9 cm
Language: English
Originally published in English

Languages show variations according to the social class of speakers and Latin was no exception, as readers of Petronius are aware. The Romance languages have traditionally been regarded as developing out of a 'language of the common people' (Vulgar Latin), but studies of modern languages demonstrate that linguistic change does not merely come, in the social sense, 'from below'. There is change from above, as prestige usages work their way down the social scale, and change may also occur across the social classes. This book is a history of many of the developments undergone by the Latin language as it changed into Romance, demonstrating the varying social levels at which change was initiated. About thirty topics are dealt with, many of them more systematically than ever before. Discussions often start in the early Republic with Plautus, and the book is as much about the literary language as about informal varieties.

Part I. Introduction
1. Introduction
'Vulgar Latin' and social variation
Part II. Phonology and Orthography
2. Phonology
introductory remarks
3. Vowel system
4. Diphthongs
5. Syncope
6. Hiatus
7. The aspirate
8. Final consonants
9. Contact assimilation
10. B/V
11. Phonology
Part III. Case and Prepositions
12. The nominative and accusative
13. Oblique cases and prepositional expressions
14. Miscellaneous uses of the accusative
15. Locative, directional and separative expressions
some variations and conflations
16. The reflexive dative
17. Prepositions and comparative expressions
18. Case and prepositions
some conclusions
Part IV. Aspects of Nominal, Pronominal and Adverbial Morphology and Syntax
19. Gender
20. Demonstrative pronouns
some morphological variations
21. The definite article and demonstrative pronouns
22. Suffixation (mainly adjectival) and non-standard Latin
23. Compound adverbs and prepositions
Part V. Aspects of Verbal Morphology and Syntax
24. Past participle + habeo
25. The periphrastic future and conditional, and present for future
26. Reflexive constructions and the passive
27. The ablative of the gerund and the present participle
Part VI. Aspects of Subordination
28. Reported speech
29. Indirect questions
Part VII. Aspects of the Lexicon and Word Order
30. The lexicon, a case study
anatomical terms
31. The lexicon
suppletion and the verb 'go'
32. Word order, a case study
infinitive position with auxiliary verbs
Part VIII. Summing Up
33. Final conclusions.

'Surprisingly accessible… Adams prizes clarity and precision … The book emerges as an intellectual cousin of Sir Ronald Syme's classic analysis of the rise of the Emperor Augustus, The Roman Revolution.' Times Literary Supplement