Further, the only post-tonic Latin vowel preserved ~y the Catalan is, as in Gallo-Roman, a: mare gives mar, gratu (s) gives grat, but anima gives arma; and, when the word terminates in a group of consonants requiring a supporting vowel, that vowel is represented by an e:
It is not to be supposed that the separation of Catalan from the Gallo-Roman family occurred before the transformation had taken place; there is good reason to believe that Catalan possessed the it at one time, but afterwards lost it in its contact with the Spanish dialects.
One and the same vulgar tongue, diversely modified in the lapse of time, has produced Castilian and Portuguese as two varieties, while Catalan, the third language of the Peninsula, connects itself, as has already been pointed out, with the Gallo-Roman.
In this feature, and in its almost universal conservation of the final vowels e, i, u (o), Castiian comes very near Italian, while it separates from it and approaches the Gallo-Roman by its modification of the consonants.
Another kind of warfare was about to absorb their whole attention; the barbarians were attacking the frontiers of the Empire on every side, and their advent once again modified Gallo-Roman civilization.