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Aspects of the Language of Latin Prose$
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Tobias Reinhardt, Michael Lapidge, and J. N. Adams

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263327

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263327.001.0001

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The Language of Pliny the Elder

The Language of Pliny the Elder

(p.238) (p.239) The Language of Pliny the Elder
Aspects of the Language of Latin Prose

Harm Pinkster

British Academy

This chapter suggests that long sentences need not be ‘periods’. It also aims to take Pliny seriously in his own right and shows a few characteristics of his language in the light of his general aims. Pliny’s work covers a broad range of topics, some of which were more accessible for his audience than others, some of which were known in more detail in his time than others, and some of which human participants were more involved than in others. Although Pliny clearly views nature from the perspective of its significance for human beings, his text is nevertheless the largest work in Latin that is not chiefly anthropocentric in its subject matter, and therefore a welcome source for statistically ‘deviant’ linguistic structures. The chapter then addresses a few features of Pliny’s language that are not, or are less, determined by his subject matter. The overall organization of the material is very careful, down to the smallest detail.

Keywords:   Pliny, language, Latin, long sentences, linguistic structures

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