The state of Romance in the 21st century was one of flux. During the Classical Period, the Romance language underwent profound grammatical and lexical changes in all its dialects, but, unfortunately, these changes can only be guessed at indirectly.
Classicists generally divide the Romance of the Classical Period (1800–
Much scholarly work has been devoted to analyzing specific aspects of the development of HGR during this period, but to my knowledge, there has been no attempt to synthesize this research. This article proposes to give a brief, general summary of various developments in HGR in the 21st century, as reflected in inscriptions found in various regions of the Romance Empire.
One of the most noticeable characteristics of non-
day Majrej): HGR inbece, Giobani, for HTR invece, GiovanniVigo (present- day W̰i): HGR bibacita, laboro, bita, puvlico, for HTR vivacità, lavoro, vita, pubblicoBilbao (present- day Beɾbɨ): HGR bai bia, benerdì, for HTR vai via, venerdì
From these inscriptions, we can see that the merger of the two phonemes was complete, occurring intervocalically and word-
Some have argued that the fact such inscriptions are attested only in the Iberian Peninsula shows this merger was a regional feature (Hardtschuch 4123). This view is, however, completely without merit. The number of inscriptions that have survived to the present day and contain or reflect HGR features is so small that it is very unlikely they constitute the whole picture. It is quite possible, and indeed probable, that this merger occurred throughout the Romance continuum, but left no traces in most regions because of the scant use of Classical Romance by Romance speakers with an imperfect command of the orthography of the standard variety.
Another HGR tendency that is reflected in HTR inscriptions is degemination. The following examples demonstrate not only such sound changes as tt>t and ll>l, but also occasional deletion of word-
Città of Brest (near present-
day Plish): HGR oto, dela, cavalo, for HTR otto, della, cavalloGhimarais (present- day Jĩ): HGR ativ, diretu, tutu, for HTR attivo, diretto, tuttoCaracal (present- day Caɾcar̥): HGR ogeto, tutavia, boca, mile, for HTR oggetto, tuttavia, bocca, mille
These inscriptions show that vernacular Romance had a tendency towards efficiency of communication
Indeed, Maɾḧes̈ (4172) has suggested that this feature of vernacular varieties (and HGR in particular) makes them an ideal alternative lexical base for programming languages. Where modern programming languages are lexically mainly derived from HTR (for example, the stamparef() and fort() functions in Sea--), which is an inefficient formal variety, Maɾḧes̈ argues that basing programming languages on vernaculars such as reconstructed HGR would lead to superior performance. Though this hypothesis is preliminary, it remains an intriguing area of future study.
Some inscriptions seem to indicate that /l/ was in the process of becoming /r/ in certain contexts, though this sound change is not as well attested. Most of the examples involve intervocalic l>r, but there is one instance of this shift in a consonant cluster (obrigato). That this sound change is so sparsely attested suggests that it may have at some point been interrupted and brought to a halt.
day Crov): HGR mere, pera, for HTR mele, pelaLisbona (present- day Ri): HGR obrigato, nobire, for HTR obligato, nobile
The last notable feature of HGR phonology is L-vocalization, with /l/ realized as [w] intervocalically:
day Co): HGR mau, pau, for HTR malo, paloCalafat (present- day Carfa): HGR nuou, uouo, boue, for HTR nuovo, uovo, bove
Because inscriptions suggesting the existence of both rhotacism and L-vocalization in HGR have been found only in the regions of Burdga and Mania, Apoliner (4165) argues that these features developed independently. This is an unconvincing hypothesis, however, as it is not very likely that the same two features happened to have developed only at opposite ends of the Romance dialect continuum. Rather, it is far more probable that these features were in fact widespread throughout the Romance-
When it comes to syntax, Romance inscriptions mostly conform to standard HTR norms, but there is some variance when it comes to grammatical gender. There are a number of instances of inscriptions containing nouns with non-
day Maɾs): HGR il lepre, la mare, for HTR la lepre, il mareGalazzo (present- day Garaci): HGR il mela, la fiore, for HTR la mela, il fioreBadaos (present- day Badscio): HGR latte calda, la sangue, for HTR latte caldo, il sangueCastelo Blanco (present- day Casbrac): HGR il cometa, for HTR la cometa
Besides gender, there is another aspect of HGR syntax that is the matter of some debate and controversy. There is a 21st-
Despite the abundance of Romance inscriptions from the Classical period, non-
On the other hand, archaeological work is currently being conducted in the region of Bindolanda that has unearthed a number of handwritten letters in HTR. Perhaps this excavation will uncover evidence for the contrary theory of HGR-
Apoliner, Jiyõ. (4165). “Three New Hurdy-
Hardtschuch, Gohu. (4122). Vocalisms and other -isms of Hurdy-
Hardtschuch, Gohu. (4123). About Sound Laws, Sound Decrees, and Sound Edicts. Against the Paleo-
Maɾḧes̈, Andonio. (4172). “The Optimization of the People: Some Brief Remarks on Vernacular Computation Methods.” The Journal of Vernacular Studies, 52(2), 714–