The "Romance" languages of French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Catalan all evolved from the spoken Latin of the Roman Empire. By the end of the Middle Ages the written forms of these languages were established and the speakers of each language considered theirs to be a different language from Latin. When was this distinction drawn? And are modern scholars justified in applying the distinction between Latin and Romance to the early Middle Ages? The relationship between Latin and the Romance languages, in the thousand years between the late Roman Empire and Dante, is a topic of central concern to latinists, romanists, philologists, linguists, medieval historians and textual critics. These areas are all represented in this collection of papers from an interdisciplinary conference held in the United States. All specialists in their fields, the contributors consider the relationship from their own distinct perspectives. The editor introduces the seventeen other authors, who come from twelve different countries. He argues that this volume represents a genuine advance and, though more questions are raised than answers given, a sense of common interest and partial consensus is developed, pushing the distinction's origins further towards the end of the 1000 year period than is generally supposed.
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