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Re: OT: Diacricital marks [Re: Question about "do"]

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 23:30
Quoting John Cowan <jcowan@...>:

> Mark J. Reed scripsit: > > > > Well, no. We're talking about writing here, and the Romance languages > > > were already pretty differentiated before anybody thought to write them > > > down. > > > > That seems odd to me, since Latin already had a written form long before > > the differentiation? Or did people simply not equate writing and speech? > > For a long time literate people spoke their local vernacular and wrote > Latin as well as they could. Only in very special cases did they attempt > to write the vernacular as well.
As well as they could, indeed. Gregory of Tours makes a special digression to excuse his poor command of Latin. This was no exaggeration: the guy has, like, four nominative-case forms for four separate arguments sometimes. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637