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A Natural History of Latin

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Home » Books » Arts & Photography » Language Arts » Linguistics

A Natural History of Latin

By Tore Janson, Merethe Damsgaard Sorensen, Nigel Vincent

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Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 February 2007
No known language, including English, has achieved the success and longevity of Latin. French, Spanish, Italian, and Romanian are among its direct descendants, and countless Latin words and phrases comprise the cornerstone of English itself. A Natural History or Latin tells its history from
its origins over 2500 years ago to the present. Brilliantly conceived, popularizing but authoritative, and written with the fluency and light touch that have made Tore Janson's Speak so attractive to tens of thousands of readers, it is a masterpiece of adroit synthesis.

The book commences with a description of the origins, emergence, and dominance of Latin over the Classical period. Then follows an account of its survival through the Middle Ages into modern times, with emphasis on its evolution throughout the history, culture, and religious practices of Medieval
Europe. By judicious quotation of Latin words, phrases, and texts the author illustrates how the written and spoken language changed, region by region over time; how it met resistance from native languages; and how therefore some entire languages disappeared. Janson offers a vivid demonstration of
the value of Latin as a means of access to a vibrant past and a persuasive argument for its continued worth. A concise and easy-to-understand introduction to Latin grammar and a list of the most frequent Latin words, including 500 idioms and phrases still in common use, complement the work.

Table of Contents

PART I LATIN AND THE ROMANS; PART II LATIN AND EUROPE; PART III ABOUT THE GRAMMAR; PART IV BASIC VOCABULARY; PART V COMMON PHRASES AND EXPRESSIONS

About the Author

Tore Janson was Professor successively of Latin and African Languages at the University of Goteborg and is a world expert on the history of Languages. His books include A Short History of Languages (OUP 2002; hardback edition 2007).

Reviews

It is hard to imagine how this book could be improved... From now on, if anyone who has never studied Latin askes me to recommend a short, readable book in which they can find out about the history of Latin and get a feel for the grammar, I will be able to answer unhesitatingly. Linguist List This always readable book is full of interest. The Scotsman Review from previous edition Natural History of Latin is an authoritative introduction to arguably the most influential language of all time. Chicago Tribune

EAN: 9780199214051
ISBN: 0199214050
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 2 centimetres (0.36 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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