HUMA215-1204A-08 Topics in Cultural Studies
Cassandra Jo Cervantes Cruz
Origins of Vernacular Languages
Professor Kevin Scott
September 2, 2012
Running head Page 2
According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the term vernacular can be defined as using a language that is native to a country or province rather than a cultured, foreign, or literary language (Merriam-Webster, 2011). These languages would one day be known as Portuguese, French, Spanish, Italian, and etc. The vernacular languages would also be considered as the large family of contemporary “Romance” languages (Matthews, 2011).
Latin means relating to the people or countries speaking romance languages. The government noticed the difficulty the Latin language was being; so they started to rebuild the Latin language with different dialects. This is known as Vulgar Latin, which is defined as a non- form of Latin which was born from the romance group. Slang, as we know it today, began to form when people began to drop syllables and say words differently. Use of the Vulgar Latin language still confused people in different regions; but still makes it difficult to understand; because of the heavy accents the people had. Because of this the Latin language was done with all together and the vernacular language became more popular (The End of Europe's middle Ages). Before the 12th century, Latin was the major language that used by writers. The makings of Latin were influenced by other native languages which included Celtic languages, Greek, and Etruscan (University of Calgary, 1996). Latin was always changing; because there were a lot differences in each time period. These differences included those in the written language, and also in the differences in the spoken language in the educated and the uneducated population.
Also up until the 12th century the Latin language was the basically the only form of communication. It was made official in the western France by the government, education, and businesses. Because it was spread to different areas of the population, the dialect was often changed in one area which made it hard for someone to recognize if they was from
Running head Page 3 another area. Latin became more and more difficult to understand in regions which made it to be used less and less in the end making it a dead language. Between 500 – 100 after the Empire was also using the vernacular language in the form of parties of religious festivals, improvisational troupes of actors, story-tellers, etc. (Matthews, 2011). Nothing was written down or given to other generations; because nothing of the literature was written down, there was enough from around the year 1200 that proved that the common language was produced into some real literature of the common people.
Vernacular language impacted the cultures during this period, because it led to a new nationalized perception and it also managed to form bonds between people of different cultures and identities. According to an article titled “The Rise of Nationalism during the Renaissance,” vernacular language also brought about the movement of nationalism and the practicalities in the changing world of the Renaissance (Farzaneh, 2010). The development of the vernacular languages also impacted the cultures because it was one of the reasons why there was drastic change from the feudal society to the political climate of the nation-state. Because so many people stopped speaking Latin, vernacular language