Early scholarly and philosophical manuscripts were in Greek. However, by the 5th century CE—and onward—language was mainly spread by conquests, trades, religious affiliations, technological advancements or entertainment. For example, as the geographic territory under Roman control grew, the use of Latin as a common language also spread. In areas under Roman control, Latin was the spoken and written language of the courts and commerce, as well as the language of the Christian church. As the Roman Empire expanded, Latin served as a common language that allowed for people of diverse linguistic backgrounds to be able to communicate.
Onward and by the early 14th century, the trend toward the use of vernacular language had spread throughout most of Europe. As monarchies throughout the region began to consolidate, the use of vernacular languages contributed to an increasing nationalism, or feeling of pride in one’s own nation, and in this case among people of similar linguistic backgrounds. People began to feel more connected to local leaders than they did to influences from afar. These sociopolitical shifts, along with the development of moveable type (the printing press), helped to ensure the success of the vernacular languages during the Renaissance.
The goal of this assignment is to research and report on the origins of vernacular language, and its spread while also providing evidence of Latin’s influence on all Western languages.
Choose 1 native language spoken in Europe, discuss the origins of the vernacular language and describe how the language spread.
As a whole, in what ways has Latin influenced Western language development?