Vulgar Latin

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Related to Vernacular Latin: vernacular, Vulgar Latin

Vulgar Latin,

vernacular form of the Latin languageLatin language,
member of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Latin was first encountered in ancient times as the language of Latium, the region of central Italy in which Rome is located (see Italic languages).
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 spoken in ancient Rome and the Roman Empire, as distinguished from classical or literary Latin. Vulgar Latin, rather than classical Latin, is the true parent of the individual Romance languagesRomance languages,
group of languages belonging to the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Italic languages). Also called Romanic, they are spoken by about 670 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
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Vulgar Latin

 

popular Latin (Latin sermo vulgaris, colloquial speech), traditional term used to designate the living language of the masses of the people in the Roman Empire (beginning in the third to second century B.C.). Cicero, Quintillian, and others made the distinction between Vulgar Latin and literary Latin (sermo latina and lingua latino). During the fall of the Roman Empire in the.fourth and fifth centuries the single Latin language gradually underwent a process of differentiation. As a result of political and social changes the living Latin speech began to penetrate all areas of life. Because of the absence of political and cultural contact, the so-called popular Latin developed in different ways in various parts of the former Roman Empire, thus leading to the formation of the independent Romance languages in the ninth century.

Vulgar Latin

any of the dialects of Latin spoken in the Roman Empire other than classical Latin. The Romance languages developed from them