"French does not come from Latin" (Le Français ne vient pas du latin) author gets on front page of Meneame

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Yves Cortez, who recently passed away in May, was the author of a book (among others) that makes the assertion that French, Italian and other Romance languages do not come from Latin but rather that so-called Vulgar Latin was really just Italian as spoken at the time, and that Latin was the written language alone and a language that came from a slightly different branch of the Indo-European language tree. I wrote a post about his book last year in July.

Since the assertion is that French and Italian do not come from Latin, that also includes Spanish, and a blog post titled el español no viene del latín just made the front page of Meneame a few hours ago, which means a flood of traffic and a lot of comments on the topic.

Cortez' site is still up even after passing away, and there is a particularly interesting post here in response to a text given to show that Spanish does in fact come from classical Latin - he then takes a similar text and treats it in the same matter to show (for the sake of argument) that English therefore comes from French.

2 comments:

lyzazel said...

I don't quite understand why it's so hard to check if the assertion that they did not actually speak Classical Latin and just wrote it is true. I mean, come on, the language was spoken by half the continent and it evolved into a bunch of different languages and it must people possible to trace it back.

In the end, who cares. Language names are just a matter of definition. In some sense French and Italian and the other languages are still Latin. There wasn't one day when people woke up and said: "Hey, forget that Latin stuff: let's start speaking Italian".

lyzazel said...

I don't quite understand why it's so hard to check if the assertion that they did not actually speak Classical Latin and just wrote it is true. I mean, come on, the language was spoken by half the continent and it evolved into a bunch of different languages and it must people possible to trace it back.

In the end, who cares. Language names are just a matter of definition. In some sense French and Italian and the other languages are still Latin. There wasn't one day when people woke up and said: "Hey, forget that Latin stuff: let's start speaking Italian".

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