This book examines the grammatical changes that took place in the transition from Latin to the Romance languages. The emerging languages underwent changes in three fundamental areas involving the noun phrase, verb phrase, and the sentence. The impact of the changes can be seen in the reduction of the Latin case system; the appearance of auxiliary verb structures to mark such categories tense, mood, and voice; and a shift towards greater rigidification of word order.
The author considers how far these changes are interrelated and compares their various manifestations and pace of change across the different standard and non-standard varieties of Romance. He describes the historical background to the emergence of the Romance varieties and their Latin ancestry,
considering in detail the richly documented diachronic variation exhibited by the Romance family.
Adam Ledgeway reviews the accounts and explanations that have been proposed within competing theoretical frameworks, and considers how far traditional ideas should be reinterpreted in light of recent theoretical developments. His wide-ranging account shows that the transition from Latin to Romance is not only of great intrinsic interest, but both provides a means of challenging linguistic orthodoxies and presents opportunities to shape new persepctives on language change, structure, and
Adam Ledgeway is Professor of Italian and Romance Linguistics at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge. His resarch interests include Italian dialectology, the comparative history and morphosyntax of the Romance languages, Latin, syntactic theory, and linguistic change. His recent publications include The Cambridge History of the Romance Languages Vol 1: Structures, Vol 2: Contexts (CUP 2011, 2013, co-edited with Martin Maiden and J. C. Smith) and Dialects and Diachrony: Grammatical Change in the Dialects of Italy (OUP 2014, co-edited with Paola Beninca and Nigel Vincent. He is the co-editor, along with Martin Maiden, of OUP's forthcoming Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages.
1. From Latin to Romance: Introduction ; 2. Syntheticity and analyticity ; 3. Configurationality and the rise of constituent structure ; 4. Configurationality and the rise of functional structure ; 5. From Latin to Romance: A configurational approach ; 6. Head-marking and dependent-marking ; 7. The rise and fall of alignments ; References ; Index