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The Vulgar Latin Question and the Origin of the Romance Tongues: Notes for a Chapter of

the History of Romance Philology Prior to 1849

Author(s): Urban T. Holmes
Source: Studies in Philology, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Jan., 1928), pp. 51-61
Published by: University of North Carolina Press
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PRIOR TO 1849.


Romance languages without vulgar Latin would be a hopeless

paradox to the twentieth century scholar, as comprehensible as the
Gargantua or the Pantagruel minus Rabelais. Yet for several
centuries many learned men, steeped though they might be in Latin
lore, sought elsewhere the origin of French, Spanish, and Italian.
This was in spite of such striking evidence as the Fredegarius and
Gregory of Tours, much quoted by Claude Fauchet (1530-1601).
Even those who did recognize a vulgar Latin made very little effort
to study it.
In 1849 was published die Romanischen Sprachen in ihrem
Verhdltnisse zum Lateinischen,l a posthumous work of August
Fuchs, one of the early pupils of Diez. This volume of three
hundred and sixty-nine pages was seen through the press by Dr.
L. G. Blanc, who had previously published a Grammatik der
Italidnischen Sprache (Halle, 1844). Fuchs's thesis was 2 " dass
die Romanischen Sprachen ganz naturgemdsse Fortbildungen
der Rimischen Volksprache sind," and, as he would add, "dass
man auch von den Romanischen Sprachen haiifig mit ziemlicher
Sicherheit auf die Romische Volksprache zuriickschliessen kann."
This work may be considered as one of the first to attempt the re-
construction of the vulgar Latin tongue. Fuch admits six periods
of vulgar Latin: Origins to 745 B. C. (the founding of Rome);
754-240 B. C.; 240-20 A. D.; 20-476 A. D.; 476-842 A. D.; and
842 A. D. to the present time 3 (sic!), in which he confuses vulgar
with middle and modern Latin. His information for periods one
and two must have been particularly hard to find! He devotes
one hundred and eleven pages to Lexicography and Word Forma-
tion, sixty pages to Accent, Versification, and Rhyme, forty-seven
pages to Morphology, some thirteen pages to Phonology, and a mere

1Halle, 1849, Druck u. Verlag von H. W. Schmidt.

2 Ibid., 35. s Ibid., 36-47.

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52 Vulgar Latin Question and Origin of Romance Tongues

nine pages to Syntax. The last two are meagre in extreme. Save
for the last item this makes one think of a grammar of the future,
if some of the new school should have their way. For these
proportions, which today seem singularly odd, Fuchs has an excuse,
in his own words: 4

Eine vollstiindige Geschichte der Romischen Volksprache zu geben, ist

iiberhaupt nicht miglich, da unsere Quellen fur die Kenntniss derselben
iiussert spirlich fliessen, was freilich ganz natiirlich ist, da in einem so
einheitlichen Staate, wie der Romische war, die Hauptstadt der Welt nicht
leicht Volksmundarten zur schriftstellerischer Ausbildung gelangen lassen

Indeed, Fuchs had still to reargue the case for the very existence
of vulgar Latin. If it had not been for the powerful voices of
such scholars as Jacob Grimm 6 and Friedrich Diez,6 perhaps we
should be rearguing the case today. May I resume briefly this
question of origin for the Romance languages, using as my guide
and chief source the introductory chapter of Fuchs's book? His
references and quotations are full beyond measure.
The first of the moderns to remark upon the existence of a vulgar
Roman tongue oa was certainly Leonardo Bruni of Arezzo (1369-
1444). Apostolic secretary to four of the Popes and later Chan-
cellor of the Florentine Republic, he manifested a keen interest in
the Italian language. In his tenth letter to Biondo di Forli, in
the sixth book of his collected letters, he writes as follows:7
Quaestio nostra in eo consistit, quod tu apud veteres unum eundemque
fuisse sermonem omnium putas, nec alium vulgarem, alium litteratum;
ego autem, ut nune est, sic etiam tune distinctam fuisse vulgarem linguam
a litterata estimo.

4 Ibid., 35.
See especially his Lateinische Gedichte des X u. XI jh., Gottingen,
1838 (of which he was co-editor with Andr. Schmeller), Gittingen, 1838,
5 ff.

6 Grammatik der romanischen Spracken, Bonn, I (1836), 3 ff., and else-


6a The reader must bear constantly in mind the distinction between

vulgar Latin or the sermo vulgaris which, we assume, existed beside
the sermo classicus from Plautus on, and the late corrupt Latin, due to
barbarians and general loss of culture.
' Epistolarum familiarum libri VIII, 1495, in-fol.

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Urban T. Holmes 53

He compares the rustic Roman listening to the polished orator with

the Italian of his day understanding the Mass and yet not able
to speak the learned tongue. Because of these two passages it is
generally believed that he confounded Vulgar Latin with modern
Italian. He never expressly states this in his long letter on the
subject. It is just as probable that in trying to illustrate the phe-
nomenon of a rustic dialect beside a polished speech he made use
of a misleading comparison.
The subject was more definitely discussed a hundred and fifty
years later by the antiquary Celso Cittadini (1553-1627), who was
a philologist as well as a collector of Petrarchiana. He said: 8
Ora egli e da sapere che per ogni tempo, e prima e poi, furono in Roma
due sorti di Lingua. L'una rozza, e mezzo barbara . . . della gente
bassa, e pura latina, la quale era propria degli scrittori.

And speaking of the Italian, he added: 9

che altro non e, che la Lengua volgare degli antichi Romani, ma rimutato
in tanto, in quanto, e oome, e perch&, e quando dimostrato avemo.

He did not believe, at least, that the Italian and vulgar Latin are
identical. This theory of a rustic Roman speech continued to find
supporters in Italy, while it was rejected elsewhere. It was repeated
by such authorities as the Veronese, Scipione Maffei 10 (1675-1755)
and Francesco Saverio Quadrio11 (1695-1756), professor of
humanities at Padua, and for a time an apostate and friend of
Voltaire. Others of note who professed it were Luigi Lanzi, S. J.12
(1732-1810) and Carlo Denina 13 (1731-1813), the official librarian
of Napoleon from 1804 on.
This brings us to the nineteenth century and to such men as

s Opere di Celso Cittadini, racoolte da Girolamo Gigle., Roma, 1721;

Trattato della vera origine, e del Processo, e Nome della nostra Lingua,
sect. II, p. 3.
9 Ibid., sect. XXIV, p. 97.
10 Verona illustrata, II, 6G, Verona, 1731-1732. Begun in 1718, this is a
history of his native city.
11Della Storia e della Ragione d'ogni poesia, Bologna, 1739; Milano,
1742. Vol. I, Part ii, p. 41.
12 Saggio da Iingua Etrusca e di altre antiohe d'Italia, Rome 1789,
Florence 1824, 331.
18 La Clef des Langues ou Observations sur l'origind et la formation des
principales langues qu'on parle et qu'on ecrit en Europe, Berlin, 1804,
II, 2 ff.

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54 Vulgar Latin Question and Origin of Romance Tong.Les

B. Biondeli 14 (1804-1886), Lorenz Diefenbach 15 (1806-1883) and

Murgu,l' who supported Grimm and Diez in the final proof of the
theory. That this theory met with opposition well into the nine-
teenth century will be best observed from the following citations.
Raynouard (1761-1836) was especially emphatic; viz.: 17
Si ces philologues ont voulu dire que, dans le siecle d'Auguste, il existait
i Rome, concurremment avec la langue latine, un idiome vulgaire qui a
precede et prepar6 la langue italienne, c'est-a-dire un idiome particulier,
qui faisait usage des articles, des verbes auxiliaires, et qui avait les carac-
teres romans distinctifs, quand, le latin n'employait aucun de ces carac-
teres speciaux, les personnes les moins impartiales seront forcees de con-
venir qu'aucune preuve, que mAme aucun indice raisonnable ne permet
d'adopter ces assertions.

Sir George Cornewall Lewis (1806-1863), as we shall see fur-

ther on, though a bitter opponent of Raynouard's theory, was not
sympathetic to the existence of a vulgar Latin. To quote him:18
There is no trace of the existence in ancient Italy of a language spoken
among the lower orders, differing from the Latin in its grammatical struc-
ture, of a patois or dialetto, standing to the Latin in the same relation as
the Provencal or Gascon to the French, as the Catalonian to the Spanish,
as the Genuese, Mantuan or Bolognese to the Italian.

This none-too-correct comparison shows that Lewis did not have a

clear conception of what was meant by vulgar Latin.

14 Atlante linguistico d'Europa, Milano, 1841, p. 104. Biondelli was

occupant of the chair of Archeology and Numismatics in the Royal
Academy of Milan; his later years were devoted to studies on the Aztec
Indians (1861-1869 in particular).
16 Ueber die jetzigen romanisohen Schriftsp'rachen, die spanische, portu-
guesische, rhdtoromanische (in der Schweiz) franz6sische, italiinische und
dakoromanische (in mnehren Ldndern des 6stlichen Europa's) mit Vor-
bemerkungen iiber Entstehung, Verwandtschaft u. s. w. dieses Sprach-
stammes, Leipzig, 1831, 22. Diefenbach was municipal librarian of Frank-
fort-am-Main during the years 1848-1876. He was chiefly concerned with
Gothic and Celtic.
l6 Erweis, dass die Wallachen nicht romisoher Abkunst sind, und diess
nicht aus ihrer italienisch-slawischen Sprache folgt. Mit mehreren Griun-
den vermehrt, etc., Ofen, 1827-1830, 49.
17 Grammaire comparee des LaJngues de l'Europe latine dans leurs rap-
ports aveo la langue des Troubadours, Paris, 1821, p. xlviii.
18 An Essay on the origin and formation of the Romance languages, Con-
taining an Examination of M. Raynouard's Theory on the Relation of the
Italian, Spanish, Provengal, and French to the Latin, Oxford, 1835, 17.

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Urban T. Holmes 55

But how had men explained the origin of the Romance tongues
without acknowledging the existence of a vulgar Latin speech?
They had chosen nearly every other explanation possible: descent
from a local indigenous language with a slight Latin coating, or,
in the case of French, descent from the Greek. Others saw classical
Latin modified by German as the origin, and last of all there is the
well-known theory of Raynouard.l8a
Henri Estienne II (1528-1598) was not the first to see a Greek
source for the French language. He had one predecessor, if not
more, that presumptuous Aristotelian, dom Joachim Pieron (end
of XVth century-1559?). Pieron published a development of the
theory in 1554, his De origine linguae gallicae et in ejus cognatione
cum graeca dialogorum libri IV.19 In this work he lamented that
there was no mention of French among the seventy-two languages
arising from the confusion at the Tower of Babel.20 From Csesar's
Gallic War 21 he had learned that the Druids used Greek letters in
their writings. Why, then, he added, did they not use the Greek
language? 22 He did not argue that the common people spoke
Greek; but that the Druids must have had a tremendous part in the
formation of the Gallic language. Pieron admitted the existence
of a small Latin element as well. Here are a few of his Greek
brebis < rp6jaTov
feu < ir6p
esseier < eyXetpltrev
moi, toi, soi < Iuol, aol, oT
moy, toy, soy < soi, uov, oo
mo6, to6, so6 (the actual pronunciation) < tA, ai, I
heureux < o6ptos
drap < AaKos
jour < SpOpop
beaucoup < IroXXdKLs
oui, aussi, and ainsi < o0fTws and ovrTW.2al

18a Tenney Frank and other scholars of the present-day are still denying
the existence of a sermoo tvugaris and believe that Latin was corrupted by
Greek and Oriental influence, A. . JP., XLV, 161-175.
19 Paris, 1554.
2o Op. cit., fol. 14b.
21 Bk. VI, 14.
22 Op. cit., fol. 33a ff.
28 These are taken from folios 42b, 45a. 46a, 48a, 53b, 71a, 61b, 144a, and
142a, respectively.

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66 Vulgar Latin Question and Origin of Romance Tongues

As a fitting climax we should mention that he considered the lack

of case endings due to Hebrew influence.24 Henri Estienne II
repeated this absurdity. The complete title of his chief work on
the subject would ill suit the modern catalogue card:
Traicte de la conformit6 du langage Frangois avec le Grec, divis6 en trois
livres, dont les deux premiers traictent des manieres de parler conformes:
le troisieme contient plusieurs mots Frangois, les uns pris du Grec entiQre-
ment, les autres en partie; c'est a dire, en ayant retenu quelsques lettres
par lesquelles on peut remarquer leur etymologie: Avec une preface remon-
strant quelque partie du desordre et abus qui se commet aujourdhuy en
l'usage de la langue Frannoise. En ce Traicte, sont descouverts quelsques
secrets tant de la langue Grecque que de la FranQoise: duquel l'auteur et
Imprimeur est Henry Estienne, fils feu Robert Estienne. In 8, Paris, 1566.

Two of Estienne's etymologies from another work are famous

and well worth the quoting. We shall do so in translation: 25
It has long seemed to me that this noun amiral is derived from the Greek
aXiwvpos, and it is to be believed that the later Greeks have used daX\uvpa as
a noun for the sea itself. I know that there are some who would derive
this word from the word emir, which the Moors call a thassalarch or sea
commander. I am not ignorant of the fact that there are those who derive it
from Arabic, none the less foolishly than those who wish almanach to be
Arabic or Chaldaean: when frequently there occurs in the German vernacular
the expression from which this is derived. For when they [the Germans]
are about to narrate something, they begin with the time that it occurred,
and they are wont to say, Als man nach der geburt Jesu Christi unsers se-
ligmachers gezelt hat 1560 vel 1570, or whatever other year is to be put.
None of those to whom I have communicated this etymology have ever dis-
agreed with me; nor do I think that those who read this will disagree.

But there were some in the sixteenth century who held to surer
facts. Daniel George Morhof (1639-1691), in his Polyhistor, a
literary encyclopedia of the year 1688, quotes Scaliger: 26
Frustra laborant, ait Scaliger, in Primis Scalig, p. 99, Perionus, H. Ste-
phanus et alii, in Gallicae linguae ex Graeca repetenda origine, ac utriusque
cognatione probanda, quasi res ita se haberet: cum certissimum sit, et
hanc et Hispanam Italamque, a Romana Italaque corrupta fluxisse.

I have not been able to locate the original for this quotation, but

24 Op cit., fol. 50b.

25 De latinitate falso suspecta, 1576, 328.
,2 Ed. a. J. Miller, Liibeck, 1708, IV, 4, 11.

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Urban T. Holmes

the mention of Stephanus indicates that Joseph Justus Scaliger

(1540-1609) must be intended. His father, Julius Caesar Scaliger,
died in 1558, and Stephanus' work did not appear till later.27
Nearly as strange were the attempts to derive Spanish from
Basque,28 Rhitoromance from Etruscan,29 and Italian from Etrus-
can and Aramaic.30
The Druids and the Celtic languages seized the XVIIIth cen-
tury by storm.31 We need not wonder that Jean Frangois Duclos
(1705-1752) proposed to see in French a mixture of Classical Latin
and Celtic.32 This view was continued by La Ravaliere in the
IHistoire Littgraire; but it was Antoine Court de Gebelin (1725-
1784) who made the theory famous. This Protestant minister,
who was at the same time Royal censor and a great champion of
tolerance, expressed it in these terms:33
Les mots francais descendus de la langue celtique constituent le fond
m8me de notre Langue et forment des families immenses.

27 We must not forget the two authorities who would derive French
entirely from the Hebrew, Etienne Guichard (1610) and Thomassin, the
former cited by Besnier in his preface to Menage's Dictionaire Etymolo.
gique ou Origines de la Langue Franmoise, Paris, 1694, 6; also cited by
Gebelin, Monde primitif, etc. (see n. 33), p. xxxiii.
28 Besnier, op. cit., p. 5, gives as the originator of this theory a juriscon-
sult Emmanuel Poga (end of XVIth century). I can find no trace of
this man. There was, however, a lawyer, Andres de Poca, who died in
1595 and who was interested in linguistic subjects. I suspect this is
the authority referred to. The theory was carried istill further by Arnault
de Oihenart (1592-1668) and Manuel Larramendi (1690 ? - 1750).
Oihenart, a French Basque, who later collaborated in the French transla-
tion of the New Testament, occupied himself with this subject in his
Notitia utriusque Vasconiae, turn ibericae, turn aquitanicae, Paris, 1638.
Larramendi was a well-known cosmographer.
29 See Joseph von Hormayr (1781-1841) in his Geschichte der gefiirsteten
Graffschaft Tyrol, Tiibingen, 1806-1808, I, 17. This theory was also held
by Planta, whose work on Etruscan is still useful!
80 See Pietro Francesco Giambullari (1495-1555) in his Origine della
lingua fiorentina, altrimenti il Gello, Florence, 1549.
81 Consult " Blake et les Celtomanes," Modern Philology, XXIII, 175-188,
an article by Denis Saurat.
S2 Sur l'Origine et les Revolutions des Langues Celtique et Franwoise
in the Memoires de I'Acaddmie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, XV.
88 Monde primitif analys6 et compare avec le monde moderne, considdr6
dans les Origines francoises; ou dictionnaire etymologique de la langue
frangoise, Paris, 1778, VIII.

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58 Vulgar Latin Question and Origin of Romance Tongues

Of special interest for the vulgar Latin controversy is another

observation of his:

Nous regardons la Langue Celtique comme la source du Francois, tandis

que jusques A present on a toujours ete dans l'idee que le Francois,
n'etoit en quelque sorte qu'un Latin corrompu.

Then further on, in elucidating his theory, he says:

Malheureusement ce n'est pas ainsi que se sont conduits ceux qui ont
cherche l'Origine de la Langue Frangoise. Ils n'ont vu que du Latin dans
le Francois. Sourds i la voix de ceux qui vouloient les ramener a la
Langue Celtique, ils ont prefere les etymologies les plus etranges, les plus
absurdes, aux 6tymologies simples et lumineux que leur auroit fourni la
Langue Celtique, et ils ont fait un chaos des Origines de la Langue Fran-

Ottavio Mazzoni Toselli 34 and Pierre Louis Ginguene35 (1748-

1816) extended this Celtic theory to include Italian.
That the Romance languages are classical Latin acted upon by
Germanic invaders was first developed by Wolfgang Hunger (1511-
1555), chancellor at Freising, rector of the University of Ingol-
stadt.36 Followers of this popular theory were the Petrarchist,
Cardinal Peter Bembo 37 (1470-1547), librarian of the Duke of
Modena, G. Tiraboschi, S. J.38 (1731-1794), the Spaniard Bernardo
Jose Alderete39 (1565-1645), the Portuguese Nunes de Leo 40
fl. 1576), D. G. Morhof 41 (1639-1691), the Swiss historian, J. C.

84 Origini della lingua italiana, Bologna, 1831.

35 Histoire litteraire d' Itale, Paris, 1811-1823. Ginguen6's first lectures
on this subject were given in 1806.
a In his Linguae germanicae vindicatio oontra exoticas quasdam, quae
cumplurium vocum et dictionum mere germanicarum Etymologias ex sua
petere sunt conati, 1586. He is mentioned by Justus George Schottel
(1612-1676) in his Ausfiihrliche Arbeit von der Deutschen Haupt-Sprache,
Braunschweig, 1663, 123 ff.
87 See Le Prose di M. Pietro Bembo, nelle quali si rag iona della volga
lingua, Vinezia, 1575.
88 Storia della letteratura Italiana, Firenza, 1805-1813, Vol. III, 1,
pp. viii, ix, xi. There are twenty volumes of this work.
89 Del origen de la lengua castellana 6 romance que oi se usa en Espw4a,
Roma, 1606, II, 1.
40 Origem da lingoa Portuguesa, Lisboa, 1606, 28.
41 Polyhistor, IV, 4, 16.

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Urban T. Holmes 59

L. Sismondi 42 (1773-1842), and most of all that great precursor

of Romanticism, A. W. von Schlegel43 (1767-1845). Indeed the
theory was even ascribed to him by some. As Sir George Lewis
(1806-1863) said:44 " It seems that there is no reason for not
adopting the explanation of Schlegel that the change produced in
the Latin was purely the effect of the German conquest." A rather
more moderate view was assumed by Blanc, the editor of Fuchs'
book. Without German influence, he believed, Latin would have
developed more slowly, but, perhaps, it would have arrived even-
tually at the Romance stage.45
Indeed, by the beginning of the nineteenth century nearly every
scholar was convinced that the Romance languages had Latin as
their basis. It was merely a question of what intervened. Gustave
Fallot (1807-1836) stated this belief firmly in 1836: 46
Le frangais est un degagement natural et regulier du latin, et du latin
seul: on l'en voit sortir, on suit jusqu'au latin l'origine de toutes ses
regles grammaticales.

But before vulgar Latin was to be universally admitted, it remained

for Frangois Juste Marie Raynouard (1761-1836) to present a
modification like a bolt from the blue. The end of the life of this
poet, secretaire perpetuel of the Academy, was filled with much
philological interest. Let his theory be stated in his own words:47
Francais, Espagnols, Portugais, Italiens et vous tous dont l'idiome vulgaire
se rattache aux idiomes de ces peuples, vous ftes sans doute surpris et
charm6s des identites, des nombreux rapports, des analogues incontestables
que vous d6couvrez sans cesse entre vos langages particuliers; permettez-
moi de vous expliquer la cause; c'est qu'il a exist6, il y a plus de dix
siecles, une langue qui, 'nee du latin corrompu, a servi de type commun
L ces langages. Elle a conserve plus particulierement ses formes dans un
idiome illustre par des poetes qui furent nommes troubadours. . . .

42 Die Literatur des siidlicher Europa's, Deutsch herausgeg. v. Ludw.

Hain, Leipzig u. Altenburg, 1816-1819, I, 11.
48 Observations sur la langue et litterature Provengales, Pari3, 1818.
44 Op. cit., 29.
45 Grammatik der Italidnischen Sprache, Halle, 1844, 10.
46 Recherches sur les formes grammaticales de la langue frangaise et
de ses dialectes au XIII. siecle; publiUes par Paul Ackermann; et pre6od6es
d'une notice sur I'auteur par M. B. Guerard, Paris, 1839, 449.
47 Grammaire compar&e, etc., 1 ff.
48 Ibid., p. iii.

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60 Vulgar Latin Question and Origin of Romance Tongues

I1 a exist6 une langue intermediaire dont le type a fourni les elements et

les formes de nos idiomes actuels.

In brief, from a debased Latin was formed Provengal, and this

served as the common mother of the other Romance tongues. It is
easy enough to follow the train of Raynouard's thoughts. The
Provencal poetry composed in Italy and Spain was well fitted to
throw him off the track. That the Provengal dialects have affinities
with French, Italian, and even Spanish, is true. I have in mind
a remark by one of our most distinguished present-day scholars
which was made to me more or less humorously; namely, that you
may find any form or any sound change in the many Provengal
dialects if you search long enough. Such a state of affairs evi-
dently misled Raynouard.48' His solution of the question had, how-
ever, a great vogue. To quote from Lewis:49
The same theory has been adopted by Champollion-Figeac, by Sismondi in
the later editions of his work on the Literature of Southern Europe, by
Niccolini Lampredi, and Ugo Foscolo, and it is received by Balbi as the
established opinion in his Ethnographic Atlas. Bernhardy likewise in his
Grundlinien zur Encyclopaidie der Philologie (p. 188), appears to consider
the Provencal as intermediate between the Latin and the other Romance

Giulio Perticari (1779-1822) also shared this belief: 5

Quindii possiamo dire che la latina veramente fu avola, ma la romana
(Provengal) fu madre delle nuove favelle che ora si parlano in tante parti

On the other hand Raynouard was vigorously opposed by Lewis,

Bruce-Whyte,51 and Jean Jacques Ampere 52 (1800-1864), the son
of the great physicist, as well as by A. W. von Schlegel. But he
would not submit. To aid in confounding the opposition he com-

48a It is probable too that he was influenced by Claude Fauchet, Reoueil

de l'Origine de la Lague et Poesie Frangaise, Paris, 1581, 28.
49 Op. cit., 7.
50 \Sorittori del Trecento, I, 7.
61 Histoire des Langues Romanes et de leur litterature depuis leur
origine jusqu'au XIV siecle, Paris, 1841, 3 vols.
62Histoire de la Litterature frangaise au moyen age compar6e aux
litteratures 6trangeres. Introduction. Histoire de la formation de la
langue frangaise. It is worthy of passing note that the great scientist
bitterly resented his son's interest in the history of letters.

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Urban T. Holmes 61

posed that invaluable Lexique roman ou dictiona/ire de la langue

des Troubadours (Paris, 1838-1840, 6 vols.), which, enlarged by
the L6vy supplement, still serves as our basic lexicon for Old
Provengal. Raynouard states his purpose in his Introduction:53
Quelque soin que j'aie mis k demontrer la conformitk de leurs el6ments
constitutifs [speaking of the neo-latin tongues], la concordance de leurs
formes essentielles, l'analogie de leurs combinaisons diverses, malgre les
rapprochements nombreux que j'ai etablis, les rapports souvent identiques
que j'ai indiqu4s, beaucoup de persones hlsitent encore: croire qu'elle
(Provencgal futt la source commune de oes divers idiomes. Dans cet etat
de choses, et pour d6truire jusqu'au moindre doute, j'ai cru devoir entre-
prendre pour la lexicographie ce que j'avais essaye de faire pour les formes

From errors are born great things. Wie are grateful for the Lexique.
Having traced the history of these early theories of the origin of
the Romance tongues, we must call to mind once more this book of
August Fuchs. Overshadowed by greater and more long-lived con-
temporaries, he wrote a curious and distant forerunner of that
splendid book, Introduction to Vulgar Latin, by Charles H. Grand-
An interesting fact to note in this discussion is the role played
by the Italians in early Romance philology. Although they
have been little quoted, it was certainly their reflections on the
origin of their own language which initiated for us so much that
is sound of our Romance philology of the present day.
The University of North Carolina.

68 Lecique, I, XIV.

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