Linguists have long operated with the concept of the “language family” What does it mean when we say that Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Rumanian, Catalan, Galician, Occitan, Sardinian, Sicilian, etc., form a family called the Romance languages? This course will examine the nature and the validity of the concept “language family” by comparing and contrasting the linguistic structures of the Romance languages with regard to their similarities and differences on the level of sounds, forms, grammar, and vocabulary, i.e., phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon.
Readings will be made available in a course pack and/or on a CTools site. All obligatory readings will be in English; suggested optional readings might be in a Romance language.
ROMLING 300 counts as a 300-level cognate course toward the Spanish major.
Students will be evaluated on the basis of a series of exams.
Although not prerequisites, a basic knowledge of at least one Romance language, and an introductory course in linguistics would be helpful. The material in this course will be somewhat technical, and students should take this course only if they are genuinely interested in learning about the linguistic structures of the Romance languages or in examining the concept of a language family.