20 May 2022


Indo-European: Italic (Romance) Language Family Supplementation

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This paper will major on the italic romance language a member of the Indo-European Family. The paper will mostly focus on the morphology and phonology of the italic romance language. The paper will prove that the language is a true language family. Indo European languages are a group of languages that are related and are widely spoken all through the Americas, Europe, including western and some parts of southern Asia (Gili Fivela, 2015). The languages are believed to originate from a given language known as Proto Indo European, however, the language is no longer spoken. It is believed that the original speakers of the language came from the Ukraine and its environs that are southern Russia and Caucasus. The language is then believed to have spread to almost all of Europe and later to India. The language is believed to have ended around 3400 BCE.

The romance language group is believed to have been derived from Vulgar Latin, and there was a formation of a subgroup of the Italic branch of the Indo-European language. The major languages of the larger Indo-European Languages include French, Romanian, Italian, Spanish, and finally Portuguese all these are national languages of certain countries. Another language among the Romance languages that have taken political and cultural significance is the Catalan language. Romance languages that have less political and cultural significance are the Sardinian, Rhaetia dialects, Dalmatian which is now extinct and Occitan among several others. Of all family languages, the Romance family is the easiest to identify it is also the easiest to account for historically (Hall, 1974). Other than the phonological changes and some similar grammatical forms Romance languages share a lot of basic vocabulary. The vocabularies used in the language can be traced back using some few breaks in continuity to the dialect of the Roman Empire. The Latin language is so close to the romance languages; this can be seen from the rich literature and the religious traditions that no one can doubt the relationship of this language (Ledgeway, 2016). Other than the linguistic evidence found throughout the years the historical testimony happens to be more convincing. The reason that Italy has a lot of the romance languages is that of the Roman occupation of Italy, the goal, the Balkans and the Iberian Peninsula.

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Cognate words are words that are similar or carry the same grammatical meaning in two languages. Romance languages that have a lot of cognate words these languages include French, Catalan, and Spanish Portuguese all these languages are derived from Latin. The English language is usually derived from the Germanic Anglo Saxon, and therefore it has a lot of cognates with the Germanic languages these languages include Dutch, Friesian and the some of the Scandinavian languages (Hall, 1970). However, English was influenced greatly by the French during the Norman Conquest, therefore, English adopted a lot of words from Latin. Due to these fact English has more cognate words with the Romance languages than all other languages of Europe.

The writer Andre Maurois tells a story about a French soldier and a portages soldier who meet during world war one. The Portuguese soldier offers to teach the French soldier a thousand words of portages in an under a minute if he pays him a hundred francs (Maurois, 1949). The French soldier takes on the offer. The Portuguese soldier then tells the French soldier that all the words that end with “tion” the French language are the same with the Portuguese words, but they end with ão, but they are pronounced as a song. Those words are almost one thousand, and they are all feminine the same as they are in the French language. Other examples are in the table below (Ledgeway, 2016).

English French Catalan Spanish Portuguese Italian Romanian
-tion -tion -ció ción -ção -zione tune
-ty -at -dad -dade -ate

As much as it is very clear to know the romance languages primarily on the basis of lexical that is the vocabulary and the morphological similarities, it is difficult to know the subgrouping of the family languages. Most of the sub-groupings are usually classified overtly or covertly, geographical or historical having said that the Spanish and the Portuguese are usually Ibero- Romance while the French and Franco-Provencal are Gallo-Romance this classification goes on and on. These groups usually have shared linguistic features, but there are some linguistic features that are usually not seen in other groups, these features are usually easily traceable to languages spoken before the Romanization.

However, the romance languages share a lot of similarities as a group. For instance, in comparison with the Germanic languages they usually seem musical and mellifluous this is because of the greater importance of the vowels than the constants. The whole romance langue groups their vowels are usually very clear and are bell-like, and their articulation is usually energetic and precise. however the Portuguese and the Romanian usually portray muted acoustic impression. People who are not of the romance group usually think that the romance way of speaking is particularly rapid and voluble (Ledgeway, 2016). This is understandable because individual words usually receive light stress while in French they receive no stress at all. Running words into each within the stress groups is usually very common among the romance groups. The Romanian language group is different in that the speech tempo is usually slow in comparison to the other languages. Intonation patterns usually surface manifestations of nonlexical meaning; examples include interrogation, exclamation, and surprise among several others. The northern French language is a little sober with a single octave range in intonation while the Italian language seems to be sung with a winding pitch movement on two octaves. While the Castilian jumps up and down through three octaves.

Grammatically, the modern romance language has retained some of the synthetic characters of Latin. The synthetic character has mainly been maintained in the verb while in the Romanian language they have retained the synthetic character of both verbs and the nouns. Italy since the 14th century has gone through a lot of grammatical changes more than the other romance languages, the Italians put a lot of reliance on word order and intonation in order to convey a meaningful sentence (Hamilton, 2012). Other languages are more flexible with their word order.

There are several phonological developments among the italic romance languages; one of them is the loss of a system that contrasts vowel lengths and the stressing accent. This occurred during the Vulgar Latin period. However, some degree of unity still exists today among the various dialects. The collapse of ē /i/ and ĭ /ı/ did postdate the linguistic separation of Sardinia and other parts of Italy mostly in the south. In Romania, there was the development of ō /o/ and ŭ /u/ vowels.

There are several categories of morphology and syntactic in the italic romance languages. As it is commonly known Latin is a greatly synthetic language and it actually a very rich morphology, this fact allows a free world order. The evolution of the Latin language to the romance was marked with several series of syntactic functions that replaced inflectional morpheme. This syntactic evolution has been considered as a shift from a more paradigmatic to a more syntagmatic type. The transformation of the Latin syntactic to the current romance languages has taken almost 2 centuries. The shift of the fundamental changes in the Latin language is usually exemplified by the Latin sentences and their Romance translations. Most of the Latin words are usually replaced by two words in most cases in the Roman language.

In conclusion, the italic romance language is a true language family. It is easily proved because the language has similarities in different nations and almost five national languages across Europe share certain words and some pronunciation. The most interesting part that I came across while writing this report is how the French and the Portuguese language have almost one thousand similar words with slightly different pronunciation.


Gili Fivela, B., Avesani, C., Barone, M., Bocci, G., Crocco, C., D'Imperio, M., ... & Sorianello, P. (2015). The intonational phonology of the regional varieties of Italian. In Intonation in Romance (pp. 140-197). Oxford University Press.

Hall, R. A. (1974). External history of the Romance languages (Vol. 1). Elsevier Publishing Company.

Hamilton, M. (2012). L’Italiano: il passato e il presente. The Kennesaw Tower Undergraduate Foreign Language Research Journal , 4 (1), 3

Ledgeway, A., & Maiden, M. (Eds.). (2016). The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages (Vol. 1). Oxford University Press.

Maurois, A., & Binsse, H. L. (1949). A history of France . University Paperbacks, Methuenm, London.

Van Coetsem, F., & Buccini, A. F. (1990). Variation and the reconditioning of phonological rules: Cases from Germanic and Romance. Lingua , 81 (2-3), 169-220.

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 17). Indo-European: Italic (Romance) Language Family Supplementation.


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