Etymology and Grammatical Discourse in Late Antiquity and by Mark E. Amsler

By Mark E. Amsler

This learn makes a speciality of the makes use of of the grammatical notion of etymologia in basically Latin writings from the early heart a while. Etymologia is a basic strategy and discursive method within the philosophy and research of language in early medieval Latin grammar, in addition to in Biblical exegesis, encyclopedic writing, theology, and philosophy. learn during the body of poststructuralist research of discourse and the philosophy of technology, the approach of the ars grammatica are interpreted as overlapping genres (commentary, word list, encyclopedia, exegesis) which use assorted verbal or extraverbal standards to provide an explanation for the origins and significations of phrases and which determine varied epistemological frames during which an etymological account of language is positioned. The research additionally comprises many translations of heretofore untranslated passages from Latin grammatical and exegetical writings.

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It requires no dialectical intervention. In this sense, Plato's argument against etymological explanation derives from an attempt to restrict the authority of those who take language as the ground of being. Moreover, Cratylus claims that meaning is not part of human language use but explicit and self-evident to all. However, Socrates wants to show that such "revealed truth" depends on the authoritative discourse of an expert. It is a wished-for ideal, a dream, rather than an actuality in language.

But Quintilian taught and wrote within the highly institutionalized Roman education program. Like Varro, he reiterated the Alexandrian divisions of grammatical discourse (methodice, historice; Inst. 1) and linked grammatical discourse with intervention in a way which enables us to consider the relation between grammatical discourses and textual practices, especially etymological discourse. 38). Like other grammatical discourses, etymology is a strategy for reading an opaque text accurately, coherently, and meaningfully.

In the manner of the Neo-Pythagoreans and the Stoics, exegeti­ cal etymologia invokes an extrasystemic or some form of extraverbal 26 ETYMOLOGY AND GRAMMATICAL DISCOURSE authority (whether natural, moral or divine) to justify its interpretations and grammatical explanations. The authority of grammatical discourse pro­ duces the link between language and reality, both corporeal and incor­ poreal, by claiming to master the explanatory procedures by which lan­ guage gives up its secret, the world lying outside it.

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