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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: October 2013

11 - Creoles

Summary

This chapter investigates why Latin had its name changed to Romance, and why Romance then came to be thought of as being several separate languages with different names. Linguists identify linguistic turning-points, such as what Herman calls the End of the History of Latin, or the start and end of Middle French, etc., on the basis of reconstructable internal chronologies of changes in phonetics, morphology and syntax. Histories of the French language locate the first written texts in French to the ninth century, rather than to any earlier time, on orthographical criteria, even though there is no obvious internal linguistic development exactly coterminous with that periodization. Even though most of the tenth-century evidence from Italy seems to come from the south, both the distinction between Latin and Romance and that between Gallo-Romance and Italo-Romance were made in the second half of the tenth century in northern Italy.

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