Romance studies

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Romance studies is an umbrella academic discipline that covers the study of the languages, literatures, and cultures of areas that speak a Romance language. Romance studies departments usually include the study of Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. Additional languages of study include Romanian and Catalan, among others.

Romance studies departments differ from single- or two-language departments in that they attempt to break down the barriers in scholarship among the various languages, through interdisciplinary or comparative work. These departments differ from Romance language departments in that they place a heavier emphasis on connections between language and literature, on one hand, and culture, history, and politics on the other hand.

Because most places in Latin America speak a Romance language, Latin America is also studied in Romance studies departments. As a result, non-Romance languages in use in Latin America, such as Quechua, are sometimes also taught in Romance studies departments.


  • Günter Holtus, Michael Metzeltin, Christian Schmitt (Hrsg.): Lexikon der Romanistischen Linguistik (LRL), Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1988-2005 (12 volumes).
  • Petrea Lindenbauer, Michael Metzeltin, Margit Thir: Die romanischen Sprachen. Eine einführende Übersicht, Wilhelmsfeld, Egert, 1995.
  • Michael Metzeltin: Gramática explicativa de la lengua castellana. De la sintaxis a la semántica., Wien, Praesens Verlag, 2009
  • Michael Metzeltin: Erklärende Grammatik der romanischen Sprachen, Wien, Praesens, 2010.
  • Michael Metzeltin: Las lenguas románicas estándar. Historia de su formación y de su uso, Uviéu, Academia de la Llingua Asturiana, 2004, 300 pp. online version