Episode 27: Broken Empire and Fractured Languages

Parchment books begin to replace papyrus scrolls as the Western Roman Empire crumbles. New Germanic Kingdoms emerge in the west, but Latin remains the dominant language in Western Europe.  Latin itself begins to fracture without the Roman educational system to hold it together.  Meanwhile, Gothic words begin to filter into early Spanish.

Map Prepared by Louis Henwood (Click Map for Larger Image)

Map Prepared by Louis Henwood (Click Map for Larger Image)

7 thoughts on “Episode 27: Broken Empire and Fractured Languages

  1. 16:21 is the best pun that i’ve heard in a very long time. Bravo!

    …on my third time through. thanks again.

  2. I’m enjoying your pod cast very much. For this episode, I must point out however, that there is a difference between Calvary and cavalry. You meant the second but said the first many times in reference to the stirrup. My dad does that too and I hear it on TV often! Easy mistake to make.

    Looking forward to listening to more! Thanks.

    • Yes, I tend to pronounce the word as “calvary.” It is actually a very common pronunciation, but technically incorrect as you noted. The word “cavalry” also pops up in future episodes, and I think I got it right in those.

      • I love the show too, and have been encouraging everyone I know to listen to it, but have only just reached the first episode with the mispronunciation/ misuse of the word ‘cavalry’. No good trying to hide behind metathesis I’m afraid. Much better to own up to a simple mistake. Same goes for your correspondent Mr Healey on his high whores.

        Keep up the good work!

  3. Thank you for acknowledging this mispronunciation. For me it’s like scraping a blackboard with a fingernail. Please, please never say “nucular”!

  4. The transposition of sounds is very common; one of the many things that happens in languages, and for this reason, one of the many sources of why we end up with divergent languages. If your comprehension is actually impeded by the pronunciations of “cavalry” and “nuclear” as noted above, then I could somewhat understand the frustration; if you know what is meant, though, get off your high horse and join the nucular calvary.

    • I actually discussed the impact of metathesis on English in a bonus episode as patreon.com/historyofenglish. Patreon subscribers should check that out as well.

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