I choose Latin language as my topic for the presentation. The important reason is Latin America. It is interesting that there is a region whose name is related to language. I think it reflected the important influence that Latin had on history.
When I collected the information about Latin language, I found that Latin had a very long history. It can be traced to before the birth of Christ. It is hard to talk about its in a comprehensive way in a five-minute presentation. I chose several important period of Latin to talk—Classical Latin, Vulgar Latin, Medieval Latin, Renaissance Latin and Modern Latin.
During the late republic and into the first years of the empire, Old Latin had been standardized into Classical Latin. Vulgar Latin, the spoken language, existed as at the same time as the literate Classical Latin. Over the centuries the spoken varieties of Latin continued to move away from the literary standard and eventually evolved into the modern Romance languages.
Medieval Latin is the written Latin in use during that portion of the post-classical period. This Latin spread into lands that had never spoken Latin. It became useful for international communication between the member states of the Holy Roman Empire and its allies. Even after the collapse of the western Roman Empire in 476 AD, it continued to be used as a literary language throughout western and central Europe.
During the 15th century, Latin began to lose its dominant position as the main language of scholarship and religion throughout Europe. It was largely replaced by written versions of the vernacular languages of Europe. The Renaissance briefly reinforced the position of Latin as a spoken language.
During the Early Modern Age, Latin still was the most important language of culture in Europe. However, Latin is generally considered to be a dead language nowadays, though there are still a few Christian clergy and scholars who can speak Latin fluently.
Latin belongs to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. It evolved into the modern Romance languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian.
I connected Jared Diamond’s geography-based theory with the name of Latin America. Spain and Portugal were geographically close to Roman Empire. Their languages are descendants of Latin. From the 16th Century, Spain and Portugal invaded and conquered central and south America. They brought their languages so nowadays the group of countries where Romance languages are predominant is called Latin America.