Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Vulgar Latin - Not a Thing

With love from Luke Ranieri:

Why “Vulgar Latin” isn’t used by linguists anymore
20th Aug 2021 | polýMATHY

Mainly agreeing with Luke Ranieri, but first a pseudo-disagreement, then a real one:

2:45 I would say, in the time of Cicero, you are perfectly right.

For the time of Sts Augustine and Jerome, less so.

Pronunciation. Distinguishing -um from -o, or even -us from -os needed training, by then. This obviously had consequences for keeping different cases apart.

Adverbs. Iunctim - meaning together - was no longer a word in the sermo vulgaris. There is was replaced by different things. St. Jerome, from North of the Mediterranean, could have replaced it with "insimul" - but that was too Barbaric - so he replaced it with "simul" - St. Augustine from North Africa (already also in or later spread to Spain) would have used "iuncti, iunctae, iuncta"

If we go to the LXX and then take Classic Latin, a verse says of God "omnia creavit iunctim" - St. Jerome had been strictly ordered (by exactly St. Augustine + an angel rebuking him for being Ciceronian) to use commonly understood terms, and the Vulgate has "omnia creavit simul" - which St. Augustine then proceeds to take as proof text for God creating all of the usually so called Six Day Work in exactly one single moment.

It is however a prooftext against ideas like God creating dinosaurs without men and later men only when dinosaurs were gone ... and Uintatherium some time in between, also separately from the two - and trilobites well before any of the three and so on.

Oops - Sts Augustine and Jerome would be post-Classical of course! Not the time period you talked of anyway.

6:20 "Latin of the Medieval Period"

Two very different things. Gregory of Tours and Jordanes are (on Latin speaking ground) continuing Latin as a native language to the point where sermo vulgaris is breaking down the Classical paradigms, - is and - es are used interchangeably, - b - and - v -, -us and - os ... and some sentences pretty much read as "late vulgar latin two case system" (casus rectus vs casus obliquus).

Meanwhile, St. Augustine and Pauline of Canterbury and York probably had found their most classical register easiest to teach (since best attested in books), meaning their successors with Anglo-Saxon mothertongue spoke a basically Classic Latin, somewhat simplified, and obviously adapted to the Vulgate and the Liturgy of Rome, and did so as a pretty unchanging second language.

This English Latin was brought from York to Tours as a rescue measure, when the language of Gregory and Fredegar had become incomprehensible - not to the people, but to the clergy from Italy or Spain - and when Liturgy in Tours was again sufficiently Classic to be International they discovered the people no longer understood it. Classicising language courses for clergy took on 800 AD or so, and by 813 AD it was obvious this remained with the clergy only, and the people needed the pronunciation they had (somewhat modified) inherited from Gregory and Fredegar ... hence the invention of the Sermon in vernacular. The new name for the Latin that was older in Tours became (probably due to an assessment by Blessed Alcuin) in the decision "lingua romana rustica" ...

But the lingua romana rustica was now cut off from the higher registers. People no longer needed to memorised forms like "-orum" to make sense of Gospel readings, since these were anyway doubled by the sermon ... and this was the invention of French (I think Tours is oïl and not oc).

And while Gregory's Latin was immensely different, Alcuin's was basically Classical with a few remains from Gregory's and some syntactic substrate from vernaculars - whether Thewtisc or rustic-Roman.

From 813, there would not be much "informal Latin" in Tours - that being replaced by Rustic Roman.

You know, the guys who didn't pronounce "cray-daw in oonoum Deh-oum" but "creith' in ün Dyew" as people had done before Alcuin.

Obviously, both spelled / credo in unum deum /

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