History of the Romance Languages

El Escorial Library, San Lorenzo, Spain

El Escorial Library, San Lorenzo, Spain. Photo courtesy of atlasobscura.com.

Instructor: Esther Castro

Offered: Spring 2019

Cross-listed as: ITAL-361HS, SPAN-360RL and FREN-321RL

This course examines the structural evolution of Romance languages from Vulgar Latin to contemporary forms. A chronological account will be organized around themes of persistence (inheritance from Latin) and innovation (structural change).

We will begin by exploring different theories about linguistic change. Then, using concrete examples, we will analyze the main stages of development of Romance languages by focusing on different features at all linguistic levels and relating them to historical and sociological factors.

Please see the selecting courses page for more details on the advanced seminar.