Latin - Other Languages
Latin (Latin: lingua latīna, IPA: [ˈlɪŋɡʷa laˈtiːna]) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets. Latin was originally spoken in Latium, Italy. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant language, initially in Italy and subsequently throughout the Roman Empire. Vulgar Latin developed into the Romance languages, such as Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Romanian. Latin, Italian, and French have contributed many words to the English language. The Latin influence in English has been significant at all stages of its insular development. In the Middle Ages, borrowing from Latin occurred from ecclesiastical usage established by Saint Augustine of Canterbury in the 6th century or indirectly after the Norman Conquest, through the Anglo-Norman language. No inherited verbal knowledge of the ancient pronunciation of Latin exists so it must be reconstructed. Among the data used for reconstruction are explicit statements about pronunciation by ancient authors, misspellings, puns, ancient etymologies, and the spelling of Latin loanwords in other languages.
In Classical Latin, the letter (U) was written as (V) even if it was used as a vowel.
〈Y〉 was adopted to represent upsilon in loanwords from Greek, but it was pronounced like 〈u〉 and 〈i〉 by some speakers. It was also used in native Latin words by confusion with Greek words of similar meaning, such as sylva and ὕλη.Latin was written in the Latin alphabet, derived from the Old Italic script, which was in turn drawn from the Greek alphabet and ultimately the Phoenician alphabet. The number of letters in the Latin alphabet has varied. When it was first derived from the Etruscan alphabet, it contained only 21 letters.Latin is a synthetic, fusional language in the terminology of linguistic typology. In more traditional terminology, it is an inflected language, but typologists are apt to say "inflecting". Words include an objective semantic element and markers specifying the grammatical use of the word. As Latin is an Italic language, most of its vocabulary is likewise Italic, ultimately from the ancestral Proto-Indo-European language. However, because of close cultural interaction, the Romans not only adopted the Etruscan alphabet to form the Latin alphabet but also borrowed some Etruscan words into their language, including persona "mask" and histrio "actor"
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