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Romance Languages´ Development from Latin

This course is about how the Romance languages developed from Latin from a language typological perspective. You will learn about methods and theories related to language change, in order to be able to reflect on how Latin changed phonetically, morphosyntactically and lexically over time, to result in today's Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and French.

Map Romance Language World
Map "Romance Language World", by Firas el gharbi licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

This course is at an advanced level and a bachelor's degree in language or linguistics is required for admission. Your bachelor's degree must include one of the languages French, Italian, Latin, Spanish or Portuguese. The course is always given during the autumn semester and is compulsory for students who follow the master's program in linguistics with a focus on one of the Romance languages. Teaching and examination takes place in English. You can read more about this course below.


  • Course structure

    The overall document for a course is the course syllabus. The syllabus can be found in the menu on the right. In this description, we clarify how to complete the course in practice. The course description should provide good guidance, but is not comprehensive. Further clarifications in oral or written form are given by the teacher during the lessons. Do not hesitate to ask the teacher if questions would remain. To see which teachers teach the course, and for information about the schedule and examination, see further under "Schedule". Information about Literature Lists can be found under Course literature.

    Teaching format

    This course consists of lectures and seminars. You prepare for each lesson by reading relevant parts of the course literature. Course material, in the form of, for example, exercises or teacher presentations, is continuously posted on our learning platform. There is also detailed information about the implementation of the course and clear reading instructions. During the lessons, you are expected to participate actively and contribute to the discussion. During the course, you will study important typological features that characterize Latin, Vulgar Latin and the Romance languages. You will study how phonetics verb morphology, noun and adjective morphology and syntax have changed based on theories and methods of language change. One section also deals with lexical changes such as derivations and loanwords.


    The course is assessed through a written home assignment at the end of the course. The examination also includes an oral part where you present your written assignment during a seminar.

    Home assignments (i.e. essays, shorter independent assignments and assignments in general) must be written in your own words and based on your own reflections on the subject. All citations must be entered correctly with quotation marks and indication of source. A text must not for the most part consist of quotations. These should only be used to illustrate your own reasoning. If there are no sources or if they are very deficient and the teacher discovers plagiarism, it can lead to a report to the principal. Remember to use your own formulations also in oral presentations. If assignments appear during the course, these will be reviewed by a text-matching tool. For general information about cheating and plagiarism, see also Stockholm University's rulebook on regulations for examinations and guidelines for disciplinary matters at Stockholm University.


    Anders Bengtsson
    Michele Colombo

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course reports

  • More information

  • Contact

    Student Affairs Office

    If special measures are required for you to be able to complete the course, you can read more about this on SU's website. The contact person for these questions at the Department of Romance and Classics is the study counselor.