Faculty of Philology University of Belgrade

History of linguistics

Latin grammar

Olga Maksimović, 090914

lthough there is not so many data about this linguistic activity) from the third century B+ !reek literature started being translated into Latin) and it had so big impact that Latin poetry soon abandoned its native meters and started using !reek ones. 51nly 6 of 78 books of the De lingua Latina e#ist. $his transfer was facilitated by similarity between language structures and the civili. 'ue to %ome(s domination in western &urope) numerous contacts with local inhabitants all over the &mpire were to be established. 1ne of the most prominent writers is certainly 2arcus $erentius 3arro. $he only setback concerning his work is the lack of material survived to these days. In linguistic sense) the %omans applied ideas of the !reeks " their thought) controversies and categories to the Latin language. $hat multicultural society urged for interpreters and a great deal of translations was made at that time. His linguistic work mostly pertains to opposing views of analogy and anomaly controversy giving reasons for both /pro0 and /contra0. $o 4ump his own conclusions) he used !reek linguistic material and independent investigation of Latin. $he %omans were *uite aware of the importance of multilinguism for peace and stability in the &mpire. It was during +rates(s stay in %ome that le#andrian and -toic attitudes towards language started being discussed in %ome.9 3arro claimed that there is an original) limited set of words 5given to the ob4ects to refer to them9 which present the base for creating new words through changes in letters. s the whole Latin linguistic tradition relied in high degree on the earlier !reek one " in that conte#t I will try through mentioning some of the prominent writers to e#plain problems they engaged in. Both letters and meanings of a word are changeable. 7 .ation unity of that period. $he %omans have from the earliest period of creating their &mpire been confronted to !reek cultural and intellectual ideas which they acknowledged as superior achievements. the merit for /bringing0 linguistic studies to %ome was therefore given to him.In this essay I will discuss problems that Latin grammarians were faced with during their work.

$o this) Priscian later added verbs( canonical form i. the biggest differences in words he noticed in culturally important areas) whereas in individual usage of a language) particularly in poetry) anomaly dominated.ed that ablative casus present in Latin shared the meaning and syntactic functions of the !reek genitive and dative. = %emmius Palaemon identified inter4ections as words with no suitable meaning) indicating emotions. He took nominative forms as canonical and fi#ed one typical meaning to the word) like !reeks used to. <evertheless) Priscian later indicated this and deepened the morphological e#planation. $he only difference was the class of definite articles which did not e#ist in classical Latin) though Latin identified inter4ections=. mostly dedicated themselves to applying !reek terminology and word class system to Latin. 3arro called them declination naturalis) on the other hand) synchronic derivations are rather changeable and conse*uently named declination voluntaria. 3arro made a distinction between five 5!reek9 and si# 5Latin9 casus system. $hey tried to push Latin word class into the !reek system) which is obvious from the number of classes given. +oncerning verbs) 3arro followed -toic doctrine and through tense paradigm distinguished time and aspect. nother trouble Latin grammarians were faced with was *uestion of word class system.'. . n obvious contribution to developing Latin grammar is seen in 3arro(s morphological classification of Latin inflected words. He was especially interested in finding out the range of grammatically different words formed from a common root. > . He also noticed the pragmatic nature of the language i.e. He reali.e was that Latin /perfect0 was a mi#ture of simple past and perfect meaning. the first person singular present indicative active. s infle#ions were considered general with few omissions.hat he did not reali.$he similarities in words he considered to be direct loans from !reek as he was not aware of their common ancestor " Indo:&uropean language. $he grammarians working in the first centuries . +ase and tense are) according to !reek tradition) distinguished as primal categories and he differentiated nouns) verbs) participles and adverbs as parts of speech) later adding syntactic and semantic functions.e. He distincts derivational and infle#ion formation.

$he work of grammarians during classical period of %ome shows tendency to absorb !reek linguistic theory) although they are best known for didactic and descriptive Latin grammar which became ground for further education in the period afterwards. ? .ed as a copy of $hra# and ppolonius) however it is a culmination of %oman linguistic thought based on !reek tradition.Priscian(s grammar could be characteri. It influenced later scholars a lot and is a bridge connecting nti*uity with the 2iddle ge.

H. London@ Longman.) %. 8 .) 5=AAB9 A Short History of Linguistics 5third edition9.Bibliography@ %obins.

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