Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »
Italy’s linguistic history reaches back past the Stone Ages. Through the intervening centuries it has passed through a series of colorful, turbulent changes. It has been affected by such diverse factors as geography, climate, invasions, politics, religion, literature, roads, and colonies.
Ernst Pulgram’s complete linguistic history of Italy encompasses a span of time and an extent of subject matter not hitherto treated in one book. He is able to show that classical Latin was completely different from the spoken idioms, thus he refutes the notion of a sudden break down of Latinity and a “birth” of the Romance languages, views which he says have been held due to the uncritical analysis of the written evidence.
Avoiding a mechanistic view of language, the author describes its history in the cultural and historic setting in which the speakers lived. Linguistic and non-linguistic evidence are always considered together. It is shown that the concept of “Indo-European” cannot be localized in time and space.
The four sections of the book are devoted to Modern Italy, Pre-Roman Italy, Roman Italy, and Medieval Italy.