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Latin As A No Longer Spoken Language

Xavier Turner
Global Connections
Mr. Falls
B1

Table of Contents

Annotated
Bibliographies..............................................................................................pg.1
Qualitative
Research......................................................................................................pg.2
Limits and
Methodologies...............................................................................................pg.
3
Introduction........................................................................................................
.............pg.4
Body: The Origin of
Languages.......................................................................................pg.5
Body: The Roman
Empire................................................................................................pg.6
Body: Latin As A No Longer Spoken
Language................................................................pg.7
Conclusion..........................................................................................................
..............pg.8

Annotated Bibliographies

1. "Roman Empire" PBS. PBS, n. d. Web 29 Nov. 2014- This source


provided very insightful information on the Roman Empire. It
specifically delves into how the Roman Empire came to be, and how it
fell through the pillaging of the Visigoths and Germanic King Odoacer.
It also provides some information on which Roman emperors ruled from
what time to what time. This source allowed me to process which sets
of information were real, and which ones were unreliable. It also
allowed me to focus on the most ipmortant aspects of the Roman
Empire such as religion, c ulture, and the politics.
2. "The Roman Empire." The Roman Empire N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014This source provides me with an in-depth, and thorough background of
the Roman Empire. Similar to the first source, this also provides me
with information on religion, culture, and the politics of the Roman
Empire. It occasionally has some humor tied into the Roman Empire,
which makes it slightly more accessible to the reader. It also has some
art here and there that depicts the Roman Empire. It also gives a little
more in depth information on the Germanic King Odoacer and his
enormous band of Visigoths and how they pillaged the Roman Empire.

It also tells of how he overthrew Romulsu Augustus and took over the
rest of the Empire.
3. "The Fall of the Roman Empire" Ushistory.org Independence Hall
Associaiton, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014- This source provides accurate
information on how the Roman Empire collapsed. It tends to lean
towrad the more religiouis aspect of the Empire versus the political
side of it. It has importatnt dates that contributed to the fall of the
Empire, and how quickly it happened. It also has a little bit of a time of
the events that fueeld the buildup of the fall of the Roman Empire. It
also has a little graphic of the ROman Empire, and a tiny sector of
information about the Byzantine Empire.
4. What Was THe Roman Empire?" The Roman Empire. N.p., n.d. Web 29
Nov. 2014- This source has a simplified explanation of what the Roman
Empire was. It also shares more information on the Social Order of the
Roman Empire, and where one stands within the scheme of it all. It lets
the reader feel what it was like to live in the Roman Empire through the
perspective of what a citizen would go through in an ordinary day.
5. "The History of Language" History of Language. N.p., n.d. Web. 30.
2014- This source provides the reader with information about how
language itself formed. It talks about the pondered methods of
evolution of language as well.
6. "Linguistics 201: The Origin of Language." Linguistics 201: The Origin
of Language. N.p.,n.d. Web. 30. Nov. 2014- This source is somewhat
like the 5th source, as if offers certain theories as to how language
came to what it is today. it also is curious as to how language formed

all the way back from when our ancestors were supposedly cavemen,
and how they made words and phrases.
7. "History of Latin" History of Latin. N.p.,n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2014- This
source provides the reader with a polished overview of how the Latin
language was used back in the ancient Roman times. It also goes off
on a little tangent of how the Latin language is used in the English
language, and how the Roman languages evolved from it. it is rather
lengthy, but it is good for those who want to know about how Latin was
used back then, and how it's used today.
8. "Latin." Ashbrook. N.p., n.d. Web 30 Nov. 2014- This source was used
to help me provide up to date information on the status of where Latin
is today as a language. It offers some information on the "Living Latin"
language movements, which seeks to make Latin become a spoken
language again.
9. "Latin As A Dead Langauge." Black, Ken, and Bronwyn Harris.
WiseGeek. Conjecture, 24 Nov. 2014- This source was used to help
understand both aspects of why some people think Latin is a dead
language, and why others see it as still fully living. There are certain
biases here and there, but the reader is able to make their own opinion
on what they think the status of Latin is.
10.
"The Origin of Language and Communication." The Origin of
Language and Communication. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014- This
source gives the reader information on the true origins of how
language was created, and how it evolved into other types of
languages such as Slavic and Indo-European.

Qualitative Research

My scope of research was limited to certain aspects of the Roman


Empire, but I was able to find beneficial sources that contributed greatly to
my paper. I focused more on qualitative research methods versus
quantitative because there is a plethora of descriptive information on the
Roman Empire versus numbers to describe what happened. With all of my
sources, I was able to find information on how far the Roman Empire spread
to, which emperors were benevolent or malevolent, and also the overall
scene of politics, religion, and culture within the walls of the Roman Empire.
Half of my sources were about all aspects of life of the Roman Empire.
Some of the sources described the Social Order of the Roman Empire, and
how the higher up the ladder you were, the better you were treated, and vice

versa. Some of the sources also provided me with information as to how life
would be for a Roman civilian if they were poor or rich, such as being able to
bask in your exotics foods versus eating anything you found off the street. I
also had a handful of sources that were about how language became what it
is today. A panel of people came together to ponder the mysterious origins of
how we as a species are able to form thoughts, and convey those thoughts
verbally to other people, and how they are able to understand us. They
vividly explkain how we achieved our new langauge abilities through what
would be considered "ancient language", through what were essentially
pictures. Using quantitative research methods fits more to my topic of
research due to the fact that there are more accounts of description versus
accounts of statistics.
Limits and Methodologies

In writing this paper, there wer certain obstacles that limited my research
from what it could ahv epotentially been. It was also necessary to focus on a
few areas of my original topic, versus looking at every single aspect which
could have diluted the overall effect of my paper. My original topic is how
latin became a no longer spoken language in the modern day world. this is
the type of topic that includes a myriad of limits and research-focus-scopes
which affect the way that the topic is expressed into writing.

The first limjit would be that even though I have taken Latin on Rosetta
Stone, I do not necessarily have all the information possible about the Roman
culture and the Empire. The Rosetta Stone teaches you how to "speak" the
language, but it does not give you any insight on the culture or the history of
what happened. If I wanted to get the true experience of Roman culture and
history, I would have taken courses in the latin language, yet I have not been
able to. So I did my absolute best to provide accurate information on the fall
of the Roman Empire, and the evolution of Latin.
My scope of research is that I really wanted to focus specifically on the
Roman Empire and the usage of Latin, therefore I didn't really focus on all of
the other history of the Empire. I primarily focused on the fall of the Roman
Empire, for that was the time that really set off the evolution of Latin into the
Romance languages. If I added a significant amount of history to the paper
regarding the earlier years of the Empire, the reader would slowly lose
interest, thus I found it essential to focus on the Empire's last years. So had I
went into more detail of the earlier history of the Empire, it would have
become slightly irrelevant to my overall purpose.

Introduction
As a well known polyglot within the walls of the Global Studies and
World Languages Academy, it is only natural that my project focus on world
languages. My epiphany was the whole reason that lead me to find the
greatest idea for this paper, and the action for my Senior Project! My Senior
Project is going to be centered around how Latin originally started off as a
living language, gradually declined after the fall of the Roman Empire, and
evolved into what is known as today as the romance languages. This paper is

going to strictly focus on how Latin became a still intelligible, yet no longer
spoken language in the modern day world.
A vast majority of people flock to the idea that Latin has become a
dead language, and do not know that it isn't truly dead, but rather has been
polished and fine tuned. Rome was the center of power of Europe in the
ancient times, and Latin had become the official language of commerce.
Several reasons came about that caused the ultimate decline in the usage of
Latin, but the most believed is due to that of the Visigoths. The Visigoths
constantly pillaged Rome searching for anything they could find, and thus
caused the fall of the Roman Empire. Without a base to nurture the Latin
language, it is a give-in that Latin started to shift and change, and ultimately
becoming no longer orally spoken.
Luckily, Latin was the parent for the Romance languages, and shows in
the perspective modern day speech such as Portuguese. Since Latin was the
start, the Romance languages have evolved from latin, and have then
borrowed and transformed words into their own native tongue. Oddly
enough, there are living Latin language movements which aspire to bring
Latin back to its natural state; as being a full on language that is as heavily
used as French. But as for now, we continue to use Latin in areas such as
law, medicine, and the most important, religion.

The Origin of Languages


Languages are one of the sources of forms in communication within a
species. They come in all types of sounds, grammatical structures, and also
different types of pronunciations. Not only do humans have forms of
languages, but rather every living being on the planet has its own form of

language to communicate with one another. Small, annoying little bees do


spiraling dances to warn of predators or to express an order. Dolphins use
echolocation to talk to their companions, and also to search for things hidden
in the ocean. Even the songs of birds are considered language, as they can
sing happily, or in pain. In whole, anything that lives and breathes uses a
form of language in order to establish a connection through speaking, to
convey what one is feeling or thinking.
Humans are the only beings that are capable of fully arranging sounds
and letters together to make words, sentences, and paragraphs. While it is
true that the knowledge of how languages developed overtime will remain a
mystery, linguistic pathologists are able to say that eh evolution factor came
into play. our "cavemen" ancestors were not as intellectually equipped, thus
they must have had unintelligible, miniscule sets of vocabulary. Through the
evolution process, our ancestors grew smarter, and were able to make and
use more complex words to make themselves appear more intelligent. With
new language acquisition, they were able to quicken the style and delivery in
which they talked, and started to form more logical grammar and syntaxes.
Another seemingly unattainable answer to a question would be, how did we
end up with thousands of languages all over the world? With intensive study
of each language, they were all able to be placed into certain groups known
as language families.

There's actually an extensive list of families in the language family world, a


few include; Afro-Asiatic, Slavic and Romance. Some people go as far as to
believe that our language families came from nomads who aimed to wander
around the planet in search of valuable objects. The most popular would be
the Indo-European languages. Some of the members include Swedish,
German, Italian, and Portuguese. Our ancestors started speaking these
languages in the past, and they started to cultivate throughout most of
Europe, and even some creeping into Asia, such as French in Vietnam. 1000
years past, a new language family, the Semitic language family, arose
predominately in Asia. The people spoke in Arabic, Hebrew, Ge'ez, Aramaic,
Phoenician, and Ugaritic. These languages were the medium of
communication for some of the most important groups of people in these
civilizations; Babylonians, and Phoenicians.
Languages, in the same way as humans, go through a cycle of life.
They go through birth, language acquisition, language attrition, and finally
language death. (Brownyn-Harris) The Roman Empire was the epicenter of
the Latin language, which had once been prevalent everywhere. But after its
demise, Latin was then shifted to only be translated through older writings.
Some would argue that it's not dead, due to its usage in religion and science.

The Importance of Latin


In ancient times, Latin was referred to as "Latium", where it was
spoken around the Tiber River. The Etruscan kinds were powerful, and were
able to control a plethora of aspects in a Roman's life. Latin was developing
in its early stages, and with the reinforcement of the Etruscan kings, was
severely influenced by them. Latin started to become abundant all
throughout Italy, and with the empire becoming officially established,
different styles of Latin emerged throughout the region. It was the lingua
franca, and a essential way of life.
Being a survivor of the empire, it has been passed down from
generation to generation and it's now perceived to be the language of the
upper class, wealthy, and elite. This is the exact reason why it is gradually
becoming increasingly more popular for middle school, high school, and
university student to take courses in .Latin is the grassroot language for
Romance languages that include; French, Romanian, Portuguese, Italian, and
Spanish. These were also influenced by older Nordic and Slavic dialects.
(Heaton) Provided that we were not able to directly translate it, we would not
have even a fraction of the languages we are able to speak today.

Students who find themselves to be passionate about the smallest


phonetic or origins of English generally will study Latin some time in their
life. A vast quantity of the English langauge is derived from original Latin
vocabulary. The words for death in Latin is "mortis", and in such we have
acquired several words that stem from it such as immortal, morbid, and
mortician. If one achieves proficiency in Latin, they can easily draw word for
word what something means with ease.
Students who also want to acquire a better understanding of the
English grammatical system would choose to study it as well. (Lowe) When
one is young, grammar being taught at the elementary and middle school
levels appear to be humdrum, and it seemingly a futile effort of the teacher.
The English grammatical system is globally viewed as clumsy and awkward.
As for Latin, learners are able to fully comprehend everything about the
sentence such as which noun receives an action, or in which direction a noun
is traveling. We are then able to connect what we learned in another
language, to our own mother tongue.
For students who have curiosity about the cultures and languages
around the world, Latin is a gateway tool for them. Latin is a parent of the
Romance languages, and in such influenced grammar, pronunciation, and
vocabulary. A student can take Latin for several years, and will understand
every aspect of a language. Having learned all of these essential parts to
language learning, a student of Latin would find studying another,

specifically Romance, much easier than those with no prior knowledge. It can
be viewed as the training coach for the spirit and mind. (Lowe) Studies show
that studying a new language can keep your mind active and sharp.

Evolution of Latin
Latin was the base language of operations in the empire; written, and
spoken. It was the lingua franca amongst everyone, and it was used to
conduct business in. In the past, it was practically the only known language
that people felt comfortable speaking. Even the dialects of Latin were
understood and could express what a person wanted.
But this language hasn't truly left us, as we still see it some scripts
today. The scripts have made occasional appearances in the Bible, in the
field of law, medical terms, and plants and animals are classified with Latin
names. Referring back to the religion part of Latin, the Latin used in today's
churches is known as "ecclesiastical Latin", which of course originated from
Classical Latin. A few of the differences include the range of vocabulary, and
the grammar systems as well. It was used as the literary language until the
1960's when the Second Vatican Council, where its usage was discussed.

As for right now, Latin is being taught within classrooms around the
globe, and the Roman culture is being incorporated as well. Normally, Latin is
taught at the high school level, but there are some middle schools that find it
essential to start teaching it at a younger age. Latin is taught at a more
intense rate in universities to foster speedy language acquisition skills.
People have to learn certain language skills to be proficient/fluent; speaking,
reading, listening, and writing. Since Latin isn't spoken, reading is the most
enforced skill in regard to the others. It does still have the potential to make
a comeback due to the living Latin movements however!

Conclusion

This paper focuses primarily on linguistic evolution with a specific focus


on Latin and its importance. With all of the information give in this paper, it
provides furnished information, and a sketch of what the Senior Project will
focus on. The action for the Senior Project will be a "Whodunit" play
centering around the speculated death of Latin as a language. It will not
touch on every aspect by focusing in depth about all of the history of the
Roman Empire and all of its emperors. But rather about what caused it to fall
in its very last year, and it will have the theatrical flair that an audience

adores. So far, the results of the project have been successful, and it is now
to make the production come to life.
The play is going to have four scenes in it, all which include pizzazz
and flair to make it more interesting for the audience. The cast consists of
twenty seven people for this production, hence the audience number is
expected to be grandiose. The first scene is going to show the audience the
last year of the Roman Empire, and how it fell. There have also been plot
twists thrown here and there to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
The second scene is going to be where the murder happens, and everyone
goes into a panic trying to look for clues. The third scene is where the actors
will start to wrap up who they think the killer is, and try to put all of the
puzzle pieces together. The final scene of the play will be where the killer
reveals who they are.