21 Facts About Romance languages


Romance languages, sometimes referred to as Latin languages or Neo-Latin languages, are the various modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin.

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The major Romance languages have many non-native speakers and are in widespread use as lingua franca.

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Term Romance derives from the Vulgar Latin adverb, "in Roman", derived from : for instance, in the expression, "to speak in Roman", contrasted with, "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, "to speak in Barbarian" (the non-Latin languages of the peoples living outside the Roman Empire).

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Classification of the Romance languages is inherently difficult, because most of the linguistic area is a dialect continuum, and in some cases political biases can come into play.

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All of these Romance languages do have the "northwest" characteristics of lenition and loss of gemination.

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Gallo-Romance languages are generally considered the most innovative among the Romance languages.

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The older stages of many of the Romance languages preserved a two-case system consisting of nominative and oblique, fully marked on nouns, adjectives and determiners, inherited almost directly from the Latin nominative and accusative and preserving a number of different declensional classes and irregular forms.

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Some Romance languages have developed varieties which seem dramatically restructured as to their grammars or to be mixtures with other languages.

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Latin and the Romance languages have served as the inspiration and basis of numerous auxiliary and constructed languages, so-called "Neo-Romance languages".

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Romance languages wanted to create a naturalistic international language, as opposed to an autonomous constructed language like Esperanto or Volapuk which were designed for maximal simplicity of lexicon and derivation of words.

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Since the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, increased sensitivity to the rights of minorities has allowed some of these Romance languages to start recovering their prestige and lost rights.

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Romance languages are the continuation of Vulgar Latin, the popular and colloquial sociolect of Latin spoken by soldiers, settlers, and merchants of the Roman Empire, as distinguished from the classical form of the language spoken by the Roman upper classes, the form in which the language was generally written.

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In Western Europe, Latin gradually replaced Celtic and other Italic Romance languages, which were related to it by a shared Indo-European origin.

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The Slavs named the Romance languages-speaking population Vlachs, while the latter called themselves "Ruman" or "Roman", from the Latin "Romanus".

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The primary division is between the Western Romance languages, with resulting from palatalization of, and the remaining languages, with resulting.

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Subsequently, in some Romance languages they were further weakened, either becoming fricatives or approximants, or disappearing entirely (as and, but not, in French).

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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.

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Originally, all vowels in both Romance languages were nasalized before any nasal consonants, and nasal consonants not immediately followed by a vowel were eventually dropped.

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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.

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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.

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The Romance languages do not follow the German practice of capitalizing all nouns including common ones.

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