Tuesday, September 27, 2022


Why don't Italians speak latin?


Anonymous said...

No hand gestures required?

Mind your own business said...

Where did Latin originate? Was it ever a spoken language? Or just a special language for the clergy of the Catholic Church? Or was it what ancient Romans spoke before being toppled by the Germanic barbarians?

What language did our ancestors speak a millennia ago? Old English? Norse? Celtic? Old French? Languages evolve with time. Even now, we don't speak like our Founders.

Captain Steve said...

Mussolini is said to have unhappily wondered when Romans turned into Italians.

Anonymous said...

Italian is a derivative of the Florentine/Tuscan dialect of Latin. It became popular because of the literary influence of Dante, Petrarch, Boccacio, and other writers of the area. The Florentine/Tuscan dialect retained some Etruscan components (Etruscans were the original inhabitants). It was then influenced by the arrival of the Ostrogoths and then Lombardians. It should be remembered that Italy was not unified until the mid-19th century and had multiple regional languages.

As late as 1950, only 20-30% of Italians spoke Italian as their primary language. It was only after the introduction of television that Italy was homogenized with respect to language. Until the 1960s, there was only one Italian television station. One of the things the station did was use its programming to teach reading and writing (much of Italy was illiterate). This technology and economic unification of the country led to widespread adoption of Italian as the primary language.

HMS Defiant said...

I put the wonder there.

For a reason.

As we age, we seem to lose the sense of wonder.

I aim to hold on to it.

I'll keep wondering.

My sister the author told me that I could not write the Dragons of Cleveland, wrong. yes, one of her pals wrote the Dragons of Cuyahoga. So, I still got them in Cleveland.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. I always think of Old Lodge Skins in the movie 'Little Big Man'. He replied in answer to a question about something that seemed not to make sense, "I know. It puzzles me." -- with a big smile.
I try to maintain that attitude about questions to which I don't know the answer. I enjoy learning, and such is a great learning opportunity. I wouldn't have expected to have kept that attitude to age 57, but I have, & it's still going strong. A sense of wonder.
--Tennessee Budd

Anonymous said...

The French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and lots of other smaller dialects all trace back to Latin. Once the western Roman Empire collapsed and travel, trade, and military stopped moving around the Empire, pronunciation started drifting. It only took decades to a century or so for the regions to reach the point of being incomprehensible to each other. There are still small areas, an example being some of the mountain villages along the borders, where what is spoken is neither French, Spanish, or Italian, but some blend.

The same thing started happening in the U.S. although radio and television have tended to homogenize our speech to some extent. Still, I have personally witnessed a conversation between a man from upstate New York and an elderly woman in rural South Carolina. I could understand them both but neither of them could understand the other. If the country fragmented and modern communication stopped, how long before you would call what they were speaking separate languages?