Lowlands-L Anniversary Celebration

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About the story
What’s with this “Wren” thing?
   The oldest extant version of the fable we are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology of Low Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”) collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read more ...

Lingua Latina
Lingua Latina


A Latin inscription in Wroxeter, England—one of many witnesses of Britain’s Roman past

Language information: Latin is the oldest fully extant Romance language, the language of the Roman empire, the Roman Catholic Church and of pre-contemporary European learning. It continues to be used in writing, to some extent also as a non-native spoken language.
     Latin originated in the ancient country of Latium, an area around the city of Rome, and from there developed into the language of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, later also into the lingua franca of Christianity and into the lingua franca of virtually all scholarly disciplines as well. The early development of Latin owes much to Etruscan and Greek influences, and there appear to be some early influences from Umbrian and Oscan as well.
     The Latin script, which is also known as the “Roman script” and is now the most extensively used script throughout the world, grew mostly out of the Etruscan and Greek scripts.
     Being a synthetic type of language with an extensive inflexional system, Latin has relatively flexible sentence structure. Its phonology has short and long vowel phonemes which are distinguished in writing only in textbooks.

The spread of Latin as a lingua franca at the farthest extent of Roman power under under Trajan in 117 CE. During medieval times, Latin became a lingua franca throughout Europe and later spread as the foremost language of learning throughout the world.

           There are the following main varieties of Latin: Old (or Ancient, –75 BCE), Classical (–200 CE), “Vulgar” (–900 CE), Medieval (–1300 CE), Reinaissance (–1500 CE), New (–1900 CE) and Contemporary (–present). There are indications that at least since Classical Latin times there were Jewish varieties of Latin: Judeo-Latin, also known as La‘az.
     The distinction between Classical and Vulgar Latin existed already in Roman times and roughly corresponds to literary/oratory and everyday spoken varieties respectively. Old Latin was archaic already in Roman times. Vulgar Latin developed into a multitude of dialects as the Roman empire expanded, non-Romans adopted Latin and new Latin dialects thus developed on substrates of indigenous languages of distant annexed lands. These “Vulgar” Latin dialects gradually developed into the various Romance languages of today (e.g. Italian, Franco-Provençal, French, Norman, Picard, Walloon, Occitan, Catalan-Valencian-Balearic, Castilian, Portuguese, Galician, Asturian, Corsican, Sardinian, Sicilian, Ladin, Friulian, Rhaetic, Romanian, Aromanian and Megleno-Romanian). As has Latin itself, some of these descendants (especially French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian) have influenced Germanic, Celtic and Slavonic languages to variously high degrees. Furthermore, by way of colonization, they have not only influenced numerous non-European languages but became the bases of contact languages all over the world.

Genealogy: Indo-European > Italic > Latino-Faliscan

    Click to open the translation: [Version 1] [Version 2] [Version 3]Click here for different versions. >

Author: Reinhard F. Hahn

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