Dr Rupert Thompson Visits St Paul’s

November 17, 2015

On 16 November Dr Rupert Thompson, a lecturer in Philology and Linguistics at Cambridge, talked to Classics Society about the reasons why Latin is considered a dead language, and Greek is not, although both have evolved into the Romance languages and Modern Greek respectively. He defined a ‘dead’ language as one that is no longer the native language of any community with no surviving native speaker. He then explained that Latin’s extinction, or ‘language death’ was caused by a historical break with identity. He concluded with his thesis that rather than any essential difference between the extent to which Greek and Latin have evolved, it is the political identities of the two cultures that changed the status of the languages.

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