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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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(p.1) Introduction
Aspects of the Language of Latin Prose

J. N. Adams

Michael Lapidge

Tobias Reinhardt

British Academy

‘Language’ is given a comprehensive sense in this book. Many of the chapters are not ‘linguistic’ in any formal sense, but are about the skill (or otherwise) of writers in expressing themselves. They are thus about style, the study of which can be seen as a branch of literary criticism. There are various objections that can be made to the notion (implicit in Bernhard’s statement) that the inclusion of ‘poeticisms’ in prose was an imperial development and represented a debasement of the literary language. The diversity of extant prose is a major theme of this book. Examples of early long sentences are also presented. Bad writing may show up clearly in a translation. This writing may be determined in a non-literary text written by someone who had not had a literary education and might not even have been a native speaker of Latin. Archaism emerges as a generic label rather than a unified category. The chapter then discusses the translation from Greek. Aspects of high-style Latin prose, namely neologism, archaism, Greek loanword, and poeticism, are described.

Keywords:   literary language, linguistic, poeticisms, prose, bad writing, Latin prose, neologism, archaism, Greek loanword, translation

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