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Women, Language and Grammar in Italy, 1500-1900$
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Helena Sanson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264836

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264836.001.0001

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Prologue: On grammar and women

Prologue: On grammar and women

(p.1) Prologue: On grammar and women
Women, Language and Grammar in Italy, 1500-1900

Helena Sanson

British Academy

This chapter begins with a brief review of various personifications of grammar. It suggests that whichever personification Grammar is given, the underlying point — that she holds a central position in the system of education of the liberal arts — remains. She is the cradle of knowledge and the point of entry to a whole range of disciplines, skills, and methods that in turn lead to further literary and textual knowledge. This is followed by discussions of how teaching and learning grammar was considered unsuitable for women; the impact of the invention of printing on the form, content, and transmission of knowledge; and the emergence of the literary vernacular alongside Latin in the sixteenth century. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   grammar, printing, literary vernacular, Latin

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