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The course offers a general introduction to the Romance languages as a linguistic family that emerged from the fragmentation of Latin during the Early Middle Ages. In this sense, the origins of these languages will be traced from the Latin - that spread across the Roman Empire - to the moment in which the speakers of Romance became aware they no longer spoke Latin but 'something different'. For this purpose, we will outline the main phonetic, morphological, syntactic, and lexical changes that occurred during this period. In addition, we will survey the principal sub-branches of Romance: Sardinian, Ibero-Romance, Gallo-Romance, Italo-Romance, Balkan-Romance and we will pay special attention to linguistic contacts. Our main questions are: What is a Romance language? How are the individual Romance languages related to each other? What are the differences and similarities between Latin and today's Romance languages? Students are expected to become familiar with the concepts, phenomena and processes studied and to be able to analyse them from a critical and contrastive perspective.