Re: Franco-Proven├žal

From: Francesco Brighenti
Message: 63104
Date: 2009-02-18

--- In, "Arnaud Fournet"
<fournet.arnaud@...> wrote:

> [Corsican is] basically the same thing as most other dialects of
> Italian. Latin evolved and mixed up with adstrates and substrates.

"Dialects" of Italian -- and, as I suspect, also what
you "nationalistically" refer to as mere "dialects" of French,
Spanish etc. -- are historically languages by full right (in certain
cases even endowed with distinctive literary productions that date
from many centuries ago). I fully concur with the following remark
made in the Wikipedia article entitled "Italian dialects":
> The oft-heard expression "dialects of Italian" is both inaccurate
> and very misleading, since the dialects did not derive from
> Italian, but directly from spoken Latin, often termed Vulgar
> Latin: it was Italian that derived from the dialects, not the
> other way around.

Please bear in mind that both Romance national languages and Romance
regional dialects evolved from various provincial (= spoken,
or "Vulgar") forms of Latin, a "State language" that was initially,
and continued to be for a long time, *foreign* to most of the
European populations whose idioms subsequently developed into the
multifarious Romance "languages" and "dialects" (the distinction
between the two is not that clear to me). This is different from
other known processes of linguistic development such as, e.g., the
differentiation of Germanic "languages" and "dialects" from Proto-
Germanic. Latin was no "Proto-Language". It was a pre-packaged
official language (of the administration, trade etc.) that was
politically superimposed on the natives of the various parts of
Europe whose populations became the speakers of Romance "languages"
and "dialects" during the Middle Ages.

A mosaic of Romance regional idioms, some of which became "national"
languages due to political processes, is a more faithful
representation of the situation in medieval Romance-speaking Europe
than the absurd claim that "national" languages like French or
Italian constitued a sort of Ur-model from which dialectal forms of
Romance somehow deviated, but to which they are all reconducible
(like Arnaud's Corsican would be to Italian).