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New PDF release: A Lexicon of Ancient Latin Etymologies

By Robert Maltby

ISBN-10: 090520574X

ISBN-13: 9780905205748

Etymology - the learn of phrases in particular near to their derivations - was once a tremendous aspect in historic inspiration, beginning with Plato's Cratylus. within the Roman interval it turned much more major, partially due to the impression of Stoicism at the previous improvement of Roman legislation. The De lingua latina of M. Terentius Varro, a latest of a few of the significant classical Latin writers, is a wealthy shop of etymological concept and instance.

With the improvement of old philology within the 19th century, historical etymological perform got here to appear unscientific and hence unworthy of great awareness. Classicists considered as ridiculous such derivations because the recognized ''lucus a non lucendo'' (a 'shady grove', from 'not being lit'); seen etymologies, as a rule on right names, they tended to push aside as trivial wordplay, feeble punning, or mere ornamentation. yet newer scholarship has proven that etymologies in Latin and Greek poetry and prose variety a long way past right names, and are in no way continually seen. In an highbrow weather pleasant to different linguistic constructions, historic etymologising is more and more getting used as a device within the learn of historical literature, and the highbrow substructure of historic etymological thought is once more being taken heavily. however the historic assets for recognized etymologies are scattered and infrequently not easy to refer to, and the boundaries of the potential usually are not continually revered through literary students.

In A Lexicon of historical Latin Etymologies Robert Maltby offers an essential source for this box of enquiry. He has assembled the entire explicitly attested etymologies of Latin antiquity, from the predecessors of Varro to Isidore of Seville, masking glossaries and scholia in addition to ordinary historical etymological source-works. His coverage of quoting largely, instead of summarising, finds the relationships among old specialists, and the reasoning in the back of lots of their etymologies. the result's a huge paintings of reference with the intention to ease knowledgeable entry to this region of historical technology.

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Aæ ™ š ðßíïØÆ ôcí ªíþìçí· Kped ó÷ïºfi B ðïŁš lîåØí äåFæš ií Kîçý÷ïıí Kªþ . . (Soph. Ant. 388–90) King, there is nothing that mortals can swear is impossible! For second thoughts show one’s judgement to be wrong; for scarcely would I have thought I would come here again . . The focal ó÷ïºfi B is here marked as salient in a number of ways: not only is it line-initial (1), followed by a postpositive (2), the Wrst (and of necessity, preverbal) constituent in a dependent clause, (3) which precedes its governing verb (4), but also the conjunction Kðåß is positioned so as practically to Xaunt a departure from the neat symmetry between line and clause.

Topic and Focus are the two concepts at the centre of my analysis of Greek word order. It will have become clear that identifying them is crucially a matter of interpretation, and strongly dependent on context. And so a few words are in order on what is at stake here. My approach proposes to account for variation that so far has not been explained. I believe that, to describe Greek word order beyond gratuitous statements about its being ‘free’, what we should primarily pay attention to is information structure.

19 I will not go into this phenomenon at length here (it has been extensively treated in Devine and Stephens; for tragedy, see Baechle (2007)20), but the 17 This is too simplistic, but suYcient for the present purpose. I note for the beneWt of syntacticians that in Functional Grammar, as opposed to some other models, prepositions are not considered syntactic heads. 18 Dover (1960) in fact analyses sentences as strings of single words. 19 pace Dover, who rightly warns us against naively taking word order in our own language as the benchmark for ‘natural’ order (Dover 1960: 6).

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A Lexicon of Ancient Latin Etymologies by Robert Maltby


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