Constituent Order in Classical Latin Prose (Studies in by Olga Spevak

By Olga Spevak

Latin is a language with variable (so-called 'free') note order. Constituent Order in Classical Latin Prose (Caesar, Cicero, and Sallust) offers the 1st systematic description of its constituent order from a realistic viewpoint. except normal features of Latin constituent order, it discusses the ordering of the verb and its arguments in declarative, interrogative, and central sentences, in addition to the ordering inside noun words. It indicates that the connection of a constituent with its surrounding context and the communicative purpose of the author are the main trustworthy predictors of the order of elements in a sentence or noun word. It differs from fresh experiences of Latin observe order in its scope, its theoretical technique, and its cognizance to contextual info. The booklet is meant either for Latinists and for linguists operating within the fields of the Romance languages and language typology.

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Extra info for Constituent Order in Classical Latin Prose (Studies in Language Companion Series)

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Incommodum was not mentioned before; furthermore, its attribute repentinum (‘sudden’) is, due to its lexical value, a signal of newness (Torrego 2005). The verb accidit is not prominent; it only serves to introduce the repentinum incommodum that is described in the subsequent context. The temporal expression, explicitly related to the preceding context (haec), appears, to my astonishment, as a speaker of Czech, in sentence-final position. The above quoted example is far from isolated. Since I have discussed elsewhere how the Focus position in Latin does not always match that of Czech (Spevak 2008), I give just one additional example.

They argue that focal information presented sentence-finally is the outcome of the speaker’s specific discourse strategies.  Constituent order in Classical Latin prose appear’ (Vet 1981:€151). The same tendency, i. e. placement of an indefinite noun rightwards in the sentence is observed in English (3). In Czech, sentence (4) informs us about what happened yesterday: neštěstí (‘accident’), placed in sentence-final position, is the most informative element. It is possible to place another constituent in this position, for example the adverb včera (‘yesterday’): (5) Neštěstí se stalo včera.

Constituent order in Classical Latin prose qua de re ‘wherefore’ (Cic. Att. 1) and quam ob rem ‘for this reason’, more or less lexicalised as ‘therefore’ (Sal. Jug. 5). It also occurs with “simple” relatives in Classical Latin prose, especially in legal or administrative style (Marouzeau 1953:€64): (24) Hoc ipsum interdictum quo de agitur consideremus. ’  (Cic. Caec. 55) Besides these two cases, there are also examples13 with another pronoun (aliquam in rem ‘on any matter’, Cic. Inv. 178) or with an adjective (magno in honore ‘in high honour’, Caes.

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