Last modified on 3 November 2009, at 22:09

Talk:Vulgar Latin

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The Latin language as spoken by the Roman people, as opposed to Classical Latin as written in formal literature until about 4c. The sentence structure is ambiguous... someone please clarify: does it mean

  1. The Latin language as spoken by the Roman people until about 4c, as opposed to Classical Latin as written in formal literature (time period unspecified).
  2. The Latin language as spoken by the Roman people (time period unspecified), as opposed to the Classical Latin which was written in formal literature until about 4c.
  3. The Latin language as spoken by the Roman people until about 4c, as opposed to the contemporaneous Classical Latin as written in formal literature.

Also, I question whether "4c" should be replaced with another way of indicating the date, accessible to those unfamiliar with Roman dating. ...--Krnntp 15:09, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

4C just means the fourth century of the "common era" "CE" fka AD. As I understand it, after the 4th century written Latin is called Late Latin. Late Latin was more or understood widely around much of the former Roman Empire until the 6th or 7th century. After that time the written language diverges, evidently taking on many of the features of the various local versions of Vulgar Latin, which had been evolving in speech of all classes, but probably most radically among the illiterate and the lower classes. Because there is so little written evidence of Vulgar Latin, it is very difficult to make very specific statements about the dates of the various features of its various increasingly divergent versions.
One might expect that, with the fall of the Roman Empire and a reduction of trade, the divergence of the various Vulgar Latins would have accelerated after the 4th century, leading to the fairly large differences visible in written texts, especially non-ecclesiastical, in the 9th century, by which time Latin was apparently no longer viable outside of religious and learned communities.
IOW, the ambiguity about an "end date" for Vulgar Latin reflects the reality. Vulgar Latin coexisted with all forms of written Latin at least through the 4th century. Beyond that point it becomes the proto forms of the various Romance languages, but leaving little written evidence until the 9th century, but with the start and end dates for this transition period differing geographically. DCDuring TALK 22:09, 3 November 2009 (UTC)