Francesco Rovai

Origins and development of «anteposito» 'except for' in documents from Longobard Italy

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Notarial Formulae; Longobard Charters; Deverbal Prepositions.

This paper investigates the origins of "anteposito" 'except for', i.e. a deverbal preposition which occurs in 8th to 10th-century legal and notarial documents from the Italian territories that had been under Longobard rule. Like other perfect participles occurring in the absolute construction "ablativus absolutus", "anteposito" (lit. 'placed in front of / before') has lost the morpho-syntactic features typical of a participial clause and has acquired those of a prepositional phrase. However, it has also undergone a semantic change which is worthy of note. Its development as a synonym of excepto is illustrated here in the light of the cultural background, linguistic competence, and writing practice of medieval notaries, with particular regard to the structural frame of charters (sales, donations, wills, etc.).

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