The aim of this paper is to explore the beginning of the linguistic debate in Rome during the Republican Age. Retracing the evidence on the first Roman grammarians offered by Suetonius in De grammaticis et rhetoribus, we analyse the progressive development of the grammatical discipline from a role of ancilla poesis to an autonomous field of study. The poets Livius Andronicus and Ennius are remembered by Suetonius, gramm. 1, 1-2 as the first to have provided a contribution to the studium grammaticae. We discuss this contribution in detail and add similar hints from Naevius, Accius and Lucilius. We also highlight the development of a theory and practice of etymology in Aelius Stilo, up to the dispute between anomaly and analogy. Moreover, our reading leads to the revaluation of ancient grammarians neglected until now, such as Antonius Gnipho, Valerius Cato, and above all Staberius Eros, an analogist who prefigures some of the concepts that will find a full arrangement in Varro’s De lingua Latina. Here we point out a first definition of the Latin concepts of inflection, derivation, as well as the intuition of the universality of grammar.

Linguistic Thought in Rome before Varro

Antonella Duso;Renato Oniga
2020-01-01

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to explore the beginning of the linguistic debate in Rome during the Republican Age. Retracing the evidence on the first Roman grammarians offered by Suetonius in De grammaticis et rhetoribus, we analyse the progressive development of the grammatical discipline from a role of ancilla poesis to an autonomous field of study. The poets Livius Andronicus and Ennius are remembered by Suetonius, gramm. 1, 1-2 as the first to have provided a contribution to the studium grammaticae. We discuss this contribution in detail and add similar hints from Naevius, Accius and Lucilius. We also highlight the development of a theory and practice of etymology in Aelius Stilo, up to the dispute between anomaly and analogy. Moreover, our reading leads to the revaluation of ancient grammarians neglected until now, such as Antonius Gnipho, Valerius Cato, and above all Staberius Eros, an analogist who prefigures some of the concepts that will find a full arrangement in Varro’s De lingua Latina. Here we point out a first definition of the Latin concepts of inflection, derivation, as well as the intuition of the universality of grammar.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11390/1191189
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