The shifting from a “dilated diasystem”, when Latin becomes more and more complex, to two distinct linguistic systems, has already been modelled (e.g. by Pulgram, 1950; Berschin, 1986). Relying on their authors’ extensive experience, these models however leave some problems unaddressed. In particular, they consider the language of a specific period as a homogenous whole. Thus, they mostly ignore the variations of registers existing in the language at a same time, sometimes in the same text. In this paper, we propose a method to systematically study the evolution of the various registers used in texts written in Carolingian ages, with regards to later Merovingian ones. Some of the results can be obtained through computerized statistical analysis implementing some artificial intelligence: the tagging of whole sentences can be applied to a large amount of texts, too large to be analyzed otherwise. Using an annotated corpus as training data, we develop an artificial intelligence that identifies the various registers used in a text. We intend to implement it on a large selection of texts written during the same period.
This study starts from Labov’s proposal that distinguishes linguistic changes from above and from below based on the awareness that speakers have of a change. The basic question of this work is whether these two levels are recognizable in some changes – essentially pragmatic – in late Latin. The development of politeness forms is proposed as a change from above, while the development of minimizers, which sometimes results in terms of negation, as a change from below. In fact, using titles and address forms, related to formality and politeness, requires the speaker/writer be strongly aware of the social characteristics of his own and the interlocutor. Documents of the first centuries as letters by the Popes and the Christian hierarchies show signs of a socio-cultural change that results in new definitions of the self and, consequently, in the use of new address forms. On the contrary, everyday linguistic use, from below, shows how some recurring pragmatic needs determine developments that can affect different levels of the system in several ways. We will exemplify these changes from below with the expressions of small quantities used as minimizers (micam, guttam), showing how these forms are common in late Latin.
One of the basic features of the itineraries is the presence of toponyms. In the particular case of the Christian itineraries, toponyms operate in two different levels: in the places of the biblical past that is meant to be recalled in the peregrination itself and in the places “truly” visited. This fact gives toponyms a very interesting “diversity”, not only from a cultural standpoint, but also because of all kinds of linguistic facts: phonetic, morphologic, syntactic, etc. These linguistic facts reflect the situation and evolution of late Latin, an aspect of which I am going to focus on the syntactic level.
Despite the numerous studies carried out on Latin inscriptions from different parts of the Empire, up to date a complete quantitative analysis on the vowel alternations occurring in Latin inscriptions from Sardinia has not yet been carried out. However, such an investigation could shed light on the dynamics of the emergence of the Sardinian vowel system, where the ‘common romance' mergers of ĭ, ē and ŭ, ō did not take place. Therefore, we conducted a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the graphemic alternations (o) ∼ (U) and (e) ∼ (i) occurring in an epigraphic corpus containing the available Latin inscriptions from Sardinia. The alternations have been examined with reference to four variables: the proportion against standard spellings, the dating of the inscriptions, the position of lexical stress and the amount of other misspellings in the texts examined. The results show a vowel system which seems to foreshadow the Romance development of the Sardinian varieties from early times due to the low number of misspellings. The reconstruction of the sociocultural context of the inscriptions could help us to explain the distribution of the vowel alternations.
This paper intends to provide some data about the occurrence of <e> and <o> for Classical Latin (= CL) /1/ and /ŭ/ in Latin papyri and ostraca. In order to carry out a study of the incidence of some grapho-phonological phenomena within documentary texts and to examine to what extent they could be related with parameters of sociolinguistic variation, the examined texts have been collected in a corpus which has been tagged for both linguistic and extralinguistic aspects. This corpus is available in the Data-base CLaSSES (http://classes-latin-linguistics.fileli.unipi.it), created at the FILELI Department of the Uni-versity of Pisa (§ 1). The study will focus in particular on the analysis of this graphemic alternance in the Bu Njem ostraca (§ 2.1); then, it will dwell on the qualitative analysis of three lexemes in Egyptian papyri and ostraca in which a proto-Romance merger between /ĭ/ and /ē/ in /e/ and /ŭ/ and /ō/ in /o/ in tonic posi-tion might be documented. Particular attention is paid to interference phenomena with Greek (§ 2.2).
This paper intends to show that when grouping the various kinds of omissions of final -m in Väänänen‘s study on the Vulgar Latin of Pompeian inscriptions, the subcategories in his category b) (‘m omis sans raison apparente’ i.e. where -m is omitted due to a phonetic process) as “Accusatifs en -a(m)” like Succesus amat ancilla(m) and ad porta(m) Romana(m) or “Accusatifs en -e(m)” such as qu(a)e amas Felicione(m) and ante aede(m) must be rearranged in the following two subcategories: 1) cases after prepositions like ad porta(m) Romana(m) and ante aede(m) etc. where besides the phonetic interpretation a parallel morphosyntactic explanation of case confusion cannot be ruled out; and 2) cases with the objective use connected to verbs like Succesus amat ancilla(m) and qu(a)e amas Felicione(m) where, due to the preference of the phonetic interpretation, the morphosyntactic explanation seems to be less probable or even unlikely.
This short paper addresses a very vexed issue, to which a huge literature has been dedicated so far: the origin of the so-called gerunds and gerundives in Latin. Any previous attempt has proved un- conclusive, mainly because of the proliferation of ad hoc rules assumed to account for the nd-forms and even more because of the plethora of solutions. Instead of assuming another etymon for the sake of antago- nism, this paper intends to reassess the whole issue within Latin itself: as shown by non-standard syntacti- cal features of Plautinian and Late Latin, there is a morphological relationship between the present parti- ciple and the ndō-gerund, used to express simultaneity. Whereas the previous scholarship has taken for granted the assumption that thematic verbs used to have a *-odno- suffix (cf. OLat. -und-), which led to tautological reconstructions totally unparalleled outside Italic, I would tentatively explain the unexpected o-grade of such forms by a crossing with the old o-grade participles (cf. OLat. *uoluns ‘willing’ reflected by uoluntās). Such an approach vindicates the ancient theory according to which -andus reflects *-ātan-ó- (< PIE *-eh2-t>mṇn-ó-), provided one assumes that a reanalysis of *-ātan-ó- was made as a “suffix” *-tanos following the thematic vowel of the first conjugation, which produced *fer-e-tnó- ‘ferendus’ from thematic *fer-e- ‘to bear’.
The following study will show that in the Vulgate there are far from few discontinuous orders present without any indication in the Hebrew text. These instances include the following patterns: first many examples whose intermediate area is constituted by particles connecting the sentence. They have already been partly coined in the Septuagint, but also, especially in the case of quoque, formed by Jerome to avoid the simple combination of the original and the Greek version. In cases when other words stand in the intermediate area Jerome, even in poetical texts, finds new ways to emphasize the first element of a hyperbaton. Similarly, he often resorts to this method in original texts.
The great challenges in the study of Pompeian wall–inscriptions are dealt with. To exemplify the difficulties one encounters studying these documents for linguistic purposes, new readings of some inscriptions are presented and the improved text is commented upon.
This paper focuses on the uses and forms of the relative pronouns as evidenced from the Latin epigraphy in Lusitania. Inscriptions are considered from the 1st to the 8th century AD, with special attention being paid to the future developments in the Portuguese language. To this purpose, other in- scriptions or documents of a different nature dated to later chronologies are also considered as a point of comparison.