LATIN: A LINGUISTIC INTRODUCTION

Classics for All Reviews

by Renato Oniga, ed. and trans. by Norma Schifano

OUP (2014) 345pp £24.99 (ISBN 9780198702863)

How to bring together Chomsky and Latin? The concept of this book (a translation, incorporating minor changes, by Norma Schifano of Renato Oniga’s Il Latino: Breve introduzione linguistica [Milano: FrancoAngeli, 2004]) is an ambitious and laudable one: to bring modern linguistic theory to bear on Latin, and to do so in a way that is accessible to students brought up on traditional grammars and unfamiliar with twentieth- and twenty-first-century approaches to linguistic analysis, especially the generative tradition of which Chomsky has been the most notable proponent.

In three sections, this book considers the phonology (chapters 2 to 5), morphology (chapters 6 to 16, covering both inflection and derivation), and syntax of Latin (chapters 17 to 28), intentionally taking its order of treatment and scope from that of traditional grammars but describing them by means of modern…

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