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Summary:

This paper focuses on some problems that emerge in the analysis of Latin partitive structures of various times and in the study of their diachronic relationship to Romance partitive structures. It especially deals with constructions of the form V + NP (with NP marked by the Genitive Case or governed by the preposition DĒ) which are examined in their formal and functional properties. Starting from a critical reconsideration of how they are described in various prominent grammars and studies, this paper underlines their non-homogeneous character. In particular, it casts doubts on the association of some of the constructions with V + Genitive NP to partitive function. As to the structures with NP governed by DĒ, it is argued that in the sample of sentences considered, which includes passages from Plautus, Cicero, Martial, Petronius, the preposition fundamentally retains its original value that expresses spatial movement from a place (physical or mental), and therefore assigns to the prepositional phrase a function of spatial origin that is inextricably interwoven to a possible partitive value. This brings to the conclusion that the spatial value may have been a main path to the development of the partitive function in the constructions with DĒ.

This paper also questions the equivalence of the constructions with NP marked by Genitive and those with NP governed by DĒ. It comes to the conclusion that no direct functional continuity from the first to the latter can be envisaged if one accepts the traditional typological description whereby the structures with DE gradually came to replace those with the Genitive. However, some Late Latin constructions with DE show formal and functional similarities with the older Romance partitive constructions.

The influence of Greek on Latin is discussed as a possible factor that affected the shaping of Latin partitive constructions over time, though it is arguably difficult to prove it in a satisfactory way and this issue deserves further research.

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In this paper we analyze the use of the demonstrative pronouns hic, iste, ille, ipse, idem, is in two Iberian cronicae (the first one from the beginning of the 7th century, and the second one from the late 9th century), showing the evolution of that system.

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This study compares the Vulgar Latin Raetia, Noricum, Venetia et Histria, Pannónia Superior, Pannónia Inferior and Dalmatia with each other and their provincial capitals in relation to the hypothesized large dialectal isoglosses of Vulgar Latin, and in turn, to the modern Romance languages located in those areas, such as Western Romance, Northern Italian, Southern Italian and Eastern Romance dialects. The analysis is done on the palatal and velar vowels, the V∼B merger, intervocalic V drop, sonorization, degemination, assimilation, palatalization and final /-s/ drop. The territories of the Alps-Danube-Adria region will be classified according to their similarities to each other and their similarity to the Vulgar Latin or Romance dialects.

Open access

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The paper deals with the ways of expressing evidential and mirative semantics in the language of Roman comedy. The author claims that the phenomena under consideration belong to the grammar rather than to the lexicon of the Latin language, and shows that various evidential and mirative values can be expressed by the use of verbal tenses, voices, moods and syntactic construction. It is stressed that evidential and mirative functions in such units result only from the interaction of different linguistic parameters within a certain context and does not reside in the units taken in isolation. The main focus of the study is on the linguistic techniques which were preferred by Plautus and Terence. The comparative analysis of the linguistic strategies found in the author's present and the previous research demonstrates that the choice of a particular strategy depends on a given genre. Thus, some strategies (e.g., impersonal passive, inferential perfect and future, imperfect of a truth just recognized, mirative use of the subjunctive and infinitive) are preferred by comic poets while other techniques (e.g., deductive use of debere, gnomic future as a reportative strategy, cum inversum as a mirative device) which may be used in historic or epic narrative, never occur in the language of Roman comedy.

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The 5th-century Gaulish grammarian Consentius wrote an extensive treatise on errors in spoken Latin. In the Roman grammatical tradition, errors in single words are deemed to arise by means of the improper addition, removal, substitution, and misplacement of one of the constitutive elements of the word (letter, syllable, quantity, accent, and aspiration). Late grammarians assumed that the four catego- ries of change applied to accents too, but only Consentius provided an example for each of these cases. However, his discussion poses some problems. The examples of removal, substitution and misplacement of an accent all concern the word orator and present oddities such as a circumflex accent on the antepe- nultimate syllable; they were clearly made up for the sake of completeness and have no bearing on our understanding of Vulgar Latin. On the other hand, the example of addition of an accent is tríginta, with retraction of the accent on the antepenultimate syllable; this must be genuine and fits in well with current reconstructions of most Romance continuations of Latin triginta (Italian trenta, French trente, etc.) and other vigesimals (uiginti, quadraginta, etc.).

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This paper compares the romanization of Gaul in the 1st century BC and the gallicization of the island of Martinique during 17th-century French colonial expansion, using criteria set out by Muf- wene's Founder Principle. The Founder Principle determines key ecological factors in the formation of creole vernaculars, such as the founding populations and their proportion to the whole, language varieties spoken, and the nature and evolution of the interactions of the founding populations (also referred to as “colonization styles”). Based on the comparison, it will be claimed that new languages arise when a language undergoes vehicularization and subsequently shifts from one speech community to another. In other words, linguistic genesis would be a complicated case of language contact, where not only one, but sev- eral dialects of both superstrate and substrate varieties are involved, in a historical context where the identity function of language, or the norm, is overriden by the need to communicate. Research also indicates that language varieties spoken at the time of the shift did not pertain to normative usage, but to popular varieties, dialects, or both, since the emerging vernaculars - in Gaul, as well as in Martinique - preserved some of their phonological and lexical particularities.

Open access

Summary:

I examine verbal prefixation analyzing the functional changes of the Latin ad- prefix from Classical Latin to Italian. In order to conduct the research properly I needed to separate the verbs in ety- mological groups directly derived from Latin (Classical, Vulgar or Late Latin) from the verbs created in the Romance period and the Latin loan verbs. The different origin of the verbs influences our expectation regarding the analyzability of a given verb (the recognisability of the prefix as an independent element and its semantic value - which can be different from that of its Latin origin). This division is not as clear cut as it seems to be, because, in the case of the Italian, phonetic evidence in favour of one group or another is often missing. I present the possible solutions I found for the grouping problems using semantic evidence, comparison with the other Romance languages, dating of the given verb, etc. Furthermore, I highlight the general and specific factors which determine the assignment of a certain verb to a certain group in order to obtain a precise but still flexible set of verbal categories.

Open access

Summary:

In this paper we study the evolution of locative relative adverbs from Classical to Late Latin and Early Romance Languages. The focus is posed on a corpus of Iberian chartae from the 9th–10th centuries.

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In this paper, I am going to deal with illocutionary intensification, one of the specific features of curse texts, and the role prefixes play in it. Illocutionary intensification operates at the discursive-pragmatic level, modifying the illocutive act through strengthening and modal reinforcement, and is typically applied to verbs and verbal modifiers. Latin curse tablets evidence various linguistic peculiarities. They are highly formulaic and contain features related to the category of language for special purposes. These texts often employ peculiar textual rules which reflect the magical ritual accompanying the text and are focused on the supposed effect on the curse victim. In many of these texts, we can observe various strategies of illocutionary intensification, such as word repetition, which is relatively rare in literary texts, and the use of evaluative prefixes.

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This paper examines verbs of speech used for introducing direct speech in Late Latin and changes which occurred from Classical to Late Latin. It focuses on four verbal forms which were previously identified as the most frequent in selected Late Latin texts, namely inquit, ait, dicens, and dixit. Their properties and patterns of use are examined and their development into quotative markers are considered. It is shown that while in Classical Latin inquit prevails, in Late Latin the range of verbal forms is wider and includes verbal forms that in Classical texts almost never appeared or had different functions than introducing direct speech. It is argued that despite some signs of grammaticalization, none of the examined forms has become a fully developed quotative marker. Thus, concerning the means for introducing direct speech, variability and heterogeneity are the basic characteristics of Late Latin texts.

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