Questions tagged [grammarians]

For questions about grammarians, or people who have studied grammar. Not to be confused with tags related to grammar itself.

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3
votes
2answers
140 views

Subjunctive mood in comparison

In Spinoza's Ethics we see: nihil in natura clarius quam quod unumquodque ens sub aliquo attributo debeat concipi I know meaning of the sentence. My question is about debeat. Why is this verb ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

Timeline of classic grammarians

I'm seeking a timeline of classic (Greek/Latin) grammarians/grammar books. The timeline could either be a graphical one or a textual listing (like this one for the English language). Most favorable ...
6
votes
2answers
69 views

History of grammatical term “Clause”

Does the present analysis of sentences to "clauses" (subordinate, etc.) has any roots/relatives in the classic grammar books (in Ars grammatica books, etc.)? I would be tankful for any hints or ...
3
votes
2answers
86 views

Speech errors in Ancient Rome

What records are there of Latin speech errors in Ancient Rome? I know of spelling errors, e.g. in graffiti, which provide evidence of sloppy or varied pronunciation, but I'm interested to hear about ...
3
votes
0answers
92 views

What did the Romans misunderstand about Latin?

There were grammarians in antiquity, and they analyzed Latin. Several grammarians have studied various aspects of Latin grammar in the modern era as well. I find it hard to believe that modern ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

How do we know where the Roman prose stress was?

I have been taught that the stress in classical Latin is on the second last syllable if it is long and on the third last syllable otherwise. In two-syllable words the stress is on the first syllable. ...
5
votes
3answers
264 views

Can aliquis function as an adjective?

Aliquis is typically a pronoun, but can it also function as an adjective like aliqui? For example, aliqui homo currit versus aliquis homo currit.
18
votes
1answer
2k views

A story of a king who wanted to simplify Latin grammar

I vaguely remember reading a story years ago, and it was something like this: A king in medieval Europe knew some Latin but made mistakes. I think there was something like him writing plurals ...
8
votes
1answer
280 views

Why is the supine called “supine”?

I think I understand most Latin grammatical terms in relation to what seems to be their etymology in Latin: cases from nominare, accusare, genus, dare, auferre; tempora from praesens, perfectum; ...
15
votes
1answer
378 views

What was a language for the Romans?

Defining "language" is not easy, and for many not even necessary. There are many aspects to this, and I'm interested in something more specific: distinguishing a language from a dialect. Where did ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

How to say “interrogative mood”? Is it “modus interrogativum”?

I'm curious as to how to say "interrogative mood" in Latin. Is it modus interrogativum?
4
votes
0answers
49 views

Ab eo abeo ; In clino inclino Are there other jingles of this form?

Quintilian told his students to watch out for ambiguity where two words could be heard as one. Medieval writers seem to have enjoyed such word-play. Are there other examples like these either written ...
9
votes
1answer
456 views

Does 'verbum' mean both word and verb?

The word verbum means "word", but I want to find out whether it can also have the more specific meaning "verb" (as opposed to other kinds of words). Lewis and Short does not list "verb" among ...
9
votes
2answers
147 views

When did the grammarians first recognize a question?

I previously asked about indicating a question in writing, and I got interested in how questions were recognized in the first place. To know if a question mark would be used after a question, one ...
12
votes
2answers
326 views

Why do we call a case a casus? And why rectus, obliquus?

I would translate the grammatical word casus (whence English case) as "a fall". And, indeed, the German word is Fall, Dutch naamval ("name fall"). Why is this word used for the grammatical function of ...
12
votes
2answers
335 views

Did the Romans confuse a long vowel with two short ones?

Consider the words sūs and sŭŭs. The former has one long u, the latter has two short ones in two syllables. For another similar pair with a different vowel, consider īmus and ...
14
votes
1answer
460 views

What did the Romans consider the “basic” form of a verb?

Many of us are used to using the (active present) infinitive form of a verb as a "label" or "basic form" or "representative" of the verb. By this I refer to uses like dictionary entries or grammatical ...
6
votes
1answer
78 views

Year in dates near the end of a year

Using the traditional dates of the Roman calendar, December 31 and December 30 would be pridie Kalendas Ianuarias and ante diem tertium Kalendas Ianuarias. The day is expressed in relation to the ...
6
votes
1answer
268 views

When can the gerund take an object?

Typically the gerundive is employed when one using a gerund with an object seems possible. For example, I have understood that aqua bibenda est and rei faciendae causa are preferable to aquam bibendum ...
14
votes
2answers
189 views

Were there grammatical disagreements in Latin?

Latin has such a long history that at some point some native — or otherwise very fluent — speakers surely have disagreed about what is correct and grammatical Latin. I would like to know ...
11
votes
2answers
224 views

Did grammarians consider the adverbial -e a case ending?

For adjectives of the first and second declension, the corresponding adverb is formed with the ending -e. For example, pulchre (beautifully) comes from pulcher (beautiful). Canonically this -e is ...