On 05/01/2014 18:02, Christian Thalmann wrote:
> On Sun, 5 Jan 2014 12:20:27 +0000, R A Brown wrote:
>> For five or so centuries from the Classical period
>> until the break up of the western Empire?  It would be
>>  like having a group who, in 2014, had preserved and
>> were still speaking as their everyday language the
>> English of Shakespeare and the King James Version.
> No, that's not how I envision it. Rather, it would be as
>  if in 1960s, the leadership of the Mormon religion had
> declared the King James Bible and the later mormon texts
>  (which
[etc. snipped]
> In the case of Jovian, the instigating leadership is of
> political rather than religious nature (a series of kings
> and their court nobility), but a Classical-Latin
> translation of the Bible might well have played a key
> role in spreading and motivating the use of "proper"
> vocabulary.

There was no Classical Latin translation of the Bible
*here*.  There were early Latin translations of parts of the
Bible; but these were done ad_hoc and were in the Latin of
the region of composition (certainly not Classical). Jerome
complied the first authentic complete version of the Bible
in Latin in the 4th century AD.  It is written in Late Latin
or 'Christian Latin'.

Your alternative history would IMO have to be account for
request to have the Bible in Classical Latin.

> I assume there was plenty of source material for
> Classical Latin during those times? The Appendix Probi
> would suggest so. It certainly wouldn't have had to be
> perfect Classical Latin.
> Does that sound more plausible?

As I am not a Mormon and my experience of the USA has so far
been confined to New England, I cannot sensibly comment on
your Mormon Utah scenario.

But I'm still unconvinced at the moment.

>> It's when they get passed of as serious reconstructions
>> that I have a problem with.
> No worries there!


On 05/01/2014 23:20, Padraic Brown wrote:
> Ph. D. wrote:
>> Weren't all Latin books written in Classical Latin,
>> including the Bible?


>> I thought that the only written Vulgar Latin from that
>> time are graffiti on walls.


> For all practical purposes, Ecclesiastical Latin is
> identical with Classical Latin (though with rather more
> alleluias and fewer futatrices).

Depends, I guess, what you mean by "practical purposes."
Saying that Late Latin for all practical purposes is
identical with Classical Latin is like saying modern 21st
century literary English is for all practical purposes
identical with Shakespearean English.

Ecclesiastical Latin is another animal altogether, and it's
changed its spots over the centuries.  The Latin of the
Church in the Middle Ages was Medieval Latin; this developed
from Late Latin of the Vulgate, but differed in many
respects from Classical Latin, both in syntax and morphology
(e.g. the plural of _puella_ is _puelle_). During the
Renaissance, Ecclesiastical Latin changed to adopt more
classically acceptable spellings (e.g. _gracia_ -> gratia)
and the influence of the Classical language has been there
ever since; but it still ain't the same as the language of
Caesar, Cicero & Augustus.

> As I understand it, the Latin of the Vulgate is the same
>  as the Latin of other written works of the age.

More or less.

> A Vulgate *in* Vulgar Latin, while interesting, I don't
> think was ever even conceived of.

Of course not.  There was never any written standard for VL.

> I guess anyone literate enough to write or read a Latin
> text had already been educated at the Classical end of
> the spectrum.

I would not go so far as to say that.  It seems that until
the Carolingian reforms of the late 8th century, one wrote
in Late Latin but read it as the local Vulgar
Latin/proto-Romance.  The Carolingian reforms aimed to
restore a common pronunciation and written norm to use
universally, hence giving rise to Medieval Latin.  It also
freed up the fledgeling Romancelangs to begin developing
their own written forms.

If /ni/ can change into /ɑ/, then practically
anything can change into anything.