In Latin Alive, Joseph Solodow tells the story of how Latin developed into modern French, Spanish, and Italian, and deeply affected English as well. Offering a gripping narrative of language change, Solodow charts Latin's course from classical times to the modern era, with focus on the first millennium of the Common Era. Though the Romance languages evolved directly from Latin, Solodow shows how every important feature of Latin's evolution is also reflected in English. His story includes scores of intriguing etymologies, along with many concrete examples of texts, studies, scholars, anecdotes, and historical events; observations on language; and more. Written with crystalline clarity, this book tells the story of the Romance languages for the general reader and to illustrate so amply Latin's many-sided survival in English as well.
Joseph Solodow is Professor of Foreign Languages at Southern Connecticut State University and Lecturer in Classics at Yale University. The author of The Latin Particle Quidem and The World of Ovid's 'Metmorphoses', he received the Modern Language Association's Scaglione Translation Prize for his rendering of G. B. Conte's history of Latin literature into English, Latin Literature: A History.
1. Introduction: is English a cousin to the Romance languages?; Part I. Latin: 2. The career of Latin, I: from earliest times to the height of empire; 3. The career of Latin, II: the empire succeeded by barbarian kingdoms; 4. Latin at work, I: nature of the language; names and qualities; pronunciation; 5. Latin at work, II: actions and states; 6. Vulgar Latin; Part II. The Romance Vocabulary: 7. The lexicon in general; shifts in the meaning of words; 8. Changes in the form of words; 9. When words collide: conflict and resolution in the lexicon; 10. Immigrants: non-Latin words in the Romance languages; Part III. Proto-Romance, or What the Languages Share: 11. The sound of proto-Romance; 12. The noun in proto-Romance; 13. The verb in proto-Romance; Part IV. Earliest Texts and Future Directions, or Where the Languages Diverge: 14. French; 15. Italian; 16. Spanish.