Coursebook in Romance Linguistics
University of Washington
This course book on (advanced) Romance linguistics begins with a discussion of a possible 'definition' of this discipline. There is a strong contrast between what could be called the 'classical' definition of the field, based, quite clearly, in 19th century comparative historical linguistics or philology, and late 20th century practice, apparently a (highly successful) application of modern linguistic theory.
Interestingly, these two are easily reconcilable, if one considers them both as 'applications of the linguistic theory current at the time.' It can be claimed, in fact, that Romance constituted and constitutes an epitome in such an application.
The first major section of the course will treat Romance areas of concern within morphophonology, to be coherently held together by the concept of morphologization, with the following subsections:
a. Vocalic quantity /quality, focusing on the evolution from Latin to Romance; b. Diphthongization, dealing with all the Romance languages; c. Nasalization, linked to French and Portuguese; d. Palatalization (of consonants), involving the whole Romance area; e. Sandhi phenomena, stressing French liaison and related processes.
The second major division will discuss Romance analyses in the area of morphosyntax, theoretically explained by the concept of grammaticalization, with the following headings: a. Verbal paraphrasis, involving all the Romance languages; b. Case systems, stressing Rumanian and Old French; c. Clitics, as applied to all Romance languages; d. Evolution of inflectional morphology, with special focus on Modern Spoken French; e. The null subject parameter, contrasting Spanish and Italian with French. This course book concludes with a section evaluating Romance contributions to linguistic theory, particularly at the end of the 20th century. It will emphasize the 'privileged' position of the Romance field, characterized by a richness and variety of attestations throughout.
ISBN 9783895862038. LINCOM Studies in Romance Linguistics 02. 216pp. 2001.