The Blackwell History of the Latin Language
This text makes use of contemporary work in linguistics to provide up-to-date commentary on the development of Latin, from its prehistoric origins in the Indo-European language family, through the earliest texts, to the creation of the Classical Language of Cicero and Vergil, and examines the impact of the spread of spoken Latin through the Roman Empire. The first book in English in more than 50 years to provide comprehensive coverage of the history of the Latin language Gives a full account of the transformation of the language in the context of the rise and fall of Ancient Rome Presents up-to-date commentary on the key linguistic issues Makes use of carefully selected texts, many of which have only recently come to light Includes maps and glossary as well as fully translated and annotated sample texts that illustrate the different stages of the language Accessible to readers without a formal knowledge of Latin or linguistics
Preface. 1 Latin and Indo-European. 2 The Languages of Italy. 3 The Background to Standardization. 4 'Old' Latin and its Varieties in the Period c.400--150 BC. 5 The Road to Standardization: Roman Latin of the Third and Second Centuries BC. 6 Elite Latin in the Late Republic and Early Empire. 7 Sub-Elite Latin in the Empire. 8 Latin in Late Antiquity and Beyond. Glossary. Appendix: The International Phonetic Alphabet. Bibliography of Reference and Other Works. Index.
“The stated goal of this welcome new survey is to overcome some of the shortcomings of L. R. Palmer's classic handbook The Latin Language, unrevised since its publication in 1954. The goal is worthy, and the execution is in many ways a success.” (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, March 2009) “Clackson and Horrocks have produced a wide-ranging, theoretically sophisticated, and still thoroughly manageable book that will not easily be superseded.” (New England Classical Journal, February 2009) "James Clackson and Geoffrey Horrocks have … Succeeded admirably in their aim, presenting a mass of data within persuasive narrative." (Times Literary Supplement, December 2008) “The…hefty Blackwell History of the Latin Language…The authors focus on the evolution of the sounds, vocabulary, word and sentence structure…over the centuries.” (Chicago Tribune) “[The authors] set the tone … with an honesty that is … appreciated … .Marvelous treatment of … understudied languages … .Carefully, admirably, proofread … .Recommended.” (Choice)
James Clackson is University Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of The Linguistic Relationship between Armenian and Greek (1994), Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction (2007), as well as articles on classical and Indo-European philology. Geoffrey Horrocks is Professor of Comparative Philology at Cambridge. He is the author of Space and Time in Homer (1981), Generative Grammar (1987), Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers (1997), as well as of many articles on the history and structure of Greek from antiquity to the present day; he is also co-editor of Themes in Greek Linguistics (1998) and Studies in Greek Syntax (1999).
The Blackwell History of the Latin Language charts the development of Latin from its prehistoric origins in the Indo-European language family, through the earliest texts, to the creation of the Classical language of Cicero and Vergil, and examines the impact of the spread of spoken Latin through the Roman Empire. Accessibly and intelligently written, this is the first book in English in more than 50 years to provide comprehensive coverage of the history of the language. The authors make use of contemporary work in linguistics, particularly the insights gained from modern sociolinguistic research, to provide up-to-date commentary on key linguistic issues in the field. Offering a full account of the language’s transformation in the context of the rise and fall of ancient Rome, they examine a number of broad topics, including the impact of Greek, the linguistic implications of Christianity, the tension between written and spoken regional varieties of the language, the lives and social positions of Latin speakers, and the fate of the language in late antiquity and beyond. This text includes maps and glossary as well as fully translated and annotated sample texts that illustrate the different stages of the language. Readable and fully up-to-date, The Blackwell History of the Latin Language is an ideal text for both students and scholars.
“This book is the best single volume work on the Latin language. A comprehensive survey of the major topics in Latin linguistics, it is valuable not only to specialists in that field but also to Latin literary scholars, and to students of Indo-European and Romance historical linguistics generally.” –Philip Burton, University of Birmingham
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