Comparative grammar approach to Romance languages

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Daristani
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Comparative grammar approach to Romance languages

Postby Daristani » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:11 pm

Past discussions on the old HTLAL forum included mentions of Oliver Heatwole's book "A Comparative Practical Grammar of French, Spanish and Italian Hardcover", published in 1949 and long out of print. Used copies sell for ridiculous amounts these days, but scans have been floating around on the internet for a while now.

It seems that a new and similar (?) book has just been published, which adds Portuguese as well into the mix:

"Comparative Grammar of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French: Learn & Compare 4 Languages Simultaneously" by Mikhail Petrunin, 810 pages, independently published a couple of weeks ago. (Romanian still remains an orphan, as do the various other smaller languages/dialects.)

The nifty little Heatwole book had a "textbook" approach of lessons that were intended to be worked through sequentially in order to get a reading knowledge of all three languages. The Petrunin book appears to be a lot bigger, but I don't have a clear picture of how it's arranged. I get the impression that it's structured in terms of parts of speech, rather than as lessons, but whether the reader is supposed to work through the book from start to finish or just look up grammatical items of interest is unclear to me, based on the limited "look inside" feature on the US Amazon site, which doesn't offer much more than the introduction and the table of contents.

In any event, people with an interest in acquiring more than one of the languages in question or approaching the Romance family as such might want to take a look at it.
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Re: Comparative grammar approach to Romance languages

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:55 pm

Interesting! It would have been nice to see a page scan or two of Mikhail Petrunin's book.

In the meantime, one can have a look at a site I found a while ago (while looking for Catalan resources) - Romanica Intercom. Description (from Intercat):

A resource based on the Eurom4 focus (a joint project of four European universities) that aims to help students learn to read in four new languages simultaneously (Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Italian or French). The whole learning process is based on the linguistic baggage that we automatically have as mother tongue speakers of one of these Romance languages and on the closely related nature of the languages themselves.
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Re: Comparative grammar approach to Romance languages

Postby neumanc » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:08 pm

Thank you, Daristani, for this very interesting recommendation. I will certainly look into it.

For those of you who can read German, there are similar, but shorter books on a German basis which also rely on the concept of "intercomprehension" and want to give you a reading knowledge in several languages of a language family by making use of a "bridge language". I haven't read them, so I cannot vouch for them, but I find it an interesting concept. These are the books I am talking about:

Klein/Stegmann, EuroComRom - Die sieben Siebe - Romanische Sprachen sofort lesen können, ISBN 9783826569470

Hufeisen/Marx, EuroComGerm – Die sieben Siebe: Germanische Sprachen lesen lernen, ISBN 9783844027501

Tafel, Slavische Interkomprehension: Eine Einführung, ISBN 9783823364788
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Re: Comparative grammar approach to Romance languages

Postby galaxyrocker » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:05 am

The Kindle version of this book is available for borrowing on Kindle Unlimited for Prime Users (or those who bought 3 months for $0.99 today), so I figured I'd try it before my Prime trial runs out.

It comes across as a very interesting mix between lessons and general reference grammars. As mentioned, the topics are laid out as being in line with general grammars and not as structured lessons. And the way he presents the tables, while fairly clear, generally lean more towards making things seem like a comparative reference grammar. However, the writing of the book comes across as very lesson-focused. It's written without heavy use of linguistic jargon, and would be easy enough to follow along with. The book also sorta breaks down the chapters into lesson-like pieces, describing, for example, when one would use each tense as well as comparing the tenses between the languages, etc.

Overall, I'm not going to be able to go through the book, and will likely return it tomorrow, since my Prime trial runs out soon and I don't want to get stuck with having to pay for Kindle Unlimited, but I do think it could be a useful resource. That said, you definitely don't want to use this resource, from what little I've skimmed of it, to learn your first Romance language; it's much better off once you have one under your belt that you can then compare to the others. I also think it would be much better used with a teacher; there are no exercises that I was able to see (the Kindle edition lacks a hyper-linked table of contents, making going through the book a pain), and definitely no answer key even if there are a few questions. Furthermore, there's not much in the way of a pronunciation guide throughout the book, and it definitely focuses much more on the written language and such.

I will keep the book for a day, and will check back here in case anyone has any questions about it before I return it and cancel Prime.
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Re: Comparative grammar approach to Romance languages

Postby Daristani » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:01 pm

Thanks much, guys, for the additional information.

I just wanted to note that the first book mentioned by neumanc, on the Romance languages, was also published in English translation as:

"EuroComRom: The Seven Sieves -- How to read all the Romance languages right away"

PDF copies of this and the German version on the Romance languages have been floating around the internet for a while, but I haven't run across the others before.

Based on the Heatwole book, I think I would agree with galaxyrocker that, for most people, it would probably make more sense to use these types of books in order to branch out from knowing one or more Romance language to the others rather than starting from zero and attempting to learn the whole family as a whole from scratch.
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Re: Comparative grammar approach to Romance languages

Postby aravinda » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:26 am

Thank you Daristani for starting this thread and others for their contributions.
An interesting concept for sure, though I have my reservations about the usefulness of it. I was once so intrigued by this method I did some research and to my surprise discovered a number of resources (websites and books) I never knew existed. I even thought of starting a general thread on intercomprehension when I found out that the topic had already been discussed on HTLAL.
http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... N=17&TPN=1

I have this book, EuRom 5. Leggere e capire 5 lingue romanze published by EuRom5 and HOEPLI.
Home fr III.png
Home fr III.png (298.84 KiB) Viewed 317 times


It aims to give a basic reading knowledge in Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. EuRom5 website has all the reading texts and audio.
http://www.eurom5.com/bienvenue

There’s another book (which I haven’t seen) called Manual INTERLAT. It deals with only French, Portuguese and Spanish. You can see a chapter here:
http://www.euv.cl/interlat.php

I also have a copy of A Comparative Grammar of the French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese by Edwin A. Notley (published in 1868!) While searching again for the source of this book I came across another old book which may or may not be relevant:
A short handbook of the comparative philology of the English, Anglo-Saxon, Frisian, Flemish or Dutch, Low or Platt Dutch, High Dutch or German, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, Latin, Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese tongues by Clarke, Hyde (1859)

https://archive.org/details/shorthandbookofc00clar

The EuroCom projects which published the Seven Sieves books and many others (maybe still available from Shaker Verlag) seems to have ceased functioning sometime back. However, some of the content is still available online. For example here one can read on the EuroComGerm project.
http://www.eurocomgerm.de/BIN/inhalt.htm
Some of the EuroCom books (but not all) came with accompanying CDs with audio.

I have seen references to a EuroComSlav project and a book titled EuroComSlav - Die sieben Siebe Slavische Sprachen sofort lesen können (Zybatow, L N, Zybatow, G ) but have never been able to find it. The short article, EuroComSlav - A Road to Slavic Languages by Lev Zybatow published in Wiener Slawistischer Almanach (52: 2003; 281-295) is a kind of a summary.

You may find some other resources following the links in this article:
http://old.ha.ax/erik/IC/Intermar-files ... a_2013.pdf
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Re: Comparative grammar approach to Romance languages

Postby aravinda » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:23 am

Three more books I forgot to mention:

Pratique des langues romanes
Sanda Reinheimer-Ripeanu and Liliane Tasmowski
https://www.amazon.fr/Pratique-langues- ... es+romanes

“Ce livre s'adresse à ceux qui, ayant une formation de base en linguistique, seraient désireux d'en tirer profit pour accéder de manière raisonnée à la connaissance de cinq langues modernes dérivées du latin, l'espagnol, le français, l'italien, le portugais et le roumain.”

Comprendre les langues romanes
Paul Teyssier
https://www.amazon.fr/Comprendre-langue ... es+romanes

“Ce livre donne aux lecteurs francophones les clés qui leur permettront d'accéder à la compréhension des quatre autres langues romanes, d'abord sous leur forme écrite, puis sous leur forme parlée. Le lecteur pourra acquérir assez vite, en espagnol, portugais, italien et roumain, une compétence suffisante pour déchiffrer des textes simples sous leur forme écrite.”

Quadrivio romanzo: Dall'italiano al francese, allo spagnolo, al portoghese
Svend Bach, Jacqueline Brunet, Carlo Alberto Mastrelli
http://www.edizionidicrusca.it/scheda.asp?IDV=127

“Il volume si basa sul presupposto che, data la somiglianza fra l'italiano, il francese, lo spagnolo e il portoghese, dovuta alla medesima origine latina, chi parla una di queste lingue può, con qualche studio, anche non approfondito, comprendere (non parlare o scrivere) anche le altre tre.”

And an online (moodle) course based on EuroComGerm – Die sieben Siebe: Germanische Sprachen lesen lernen
https://moodle.tu-darmstadt.de/course/info.php?id=10287
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Re: Comparative grammar approach to Romance languages

Postby Hashimi » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:52 pm

aravinda wrote:EuRom5 website has all the reading texts and audio.
http://www.eurom5.com/bienvenue


Are you sure that the website has all the reading texts and audio? I found nothing.
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aravinda
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Re: Comparative grammar approach to Romance languages

Postby aravinda » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:41 am

Hashimi wrote:
aravinda wrote:EuRom5 website has all the reading texts and audio.
http://www.eurom5.com/bienvenue

Are you sure that the website has all the reading texts and audio? I found nothing.

The website has all the texts and audio (and more).
1. Click on "enregistrer" (A) on the page I have linked to above.
Screen Shot 2018-07-20 at 9.46.56 am.png
Screen Shot 2018-07-20 at 9.46.56 am.png (263.44 KiB) Viewed 193 times

2. On the page that opens in a new tab, you need to answer a question (B). It's a word from the book as proof that you have the book. Now I see that I had omitted this important piece of information in my previous post. My apologies.
Screen Shot 2018-07-20 at 9.47.03 am.png
Screen Shot 2018-07-20 at 9.47.03 am.png (179.73 KiB) Viewed 193 times

3. Once you have registered, next time you can log in from clicking C.
Hope this helps.
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