Castrenze Nigrelli

Government relations? An ambivalent description within the Late-antique and Medieval grammatical tradition

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This study aims to shed light on the historical development of a linguistic theory with reference to syntax in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, through an investigation of grammatical works related to Donatus, since a reflection on syntax emerges from the commentaries and from other grammatical works connected with his artes. This investigation focuses on the description of the government relation between praepositio and casus, through a preliminary collection of the occurrences of both terms with the Cross Database Searchtool of Brepols Publishers as a digital tool, and based on a textual analysis of the de praepositione sections included in a selection of grammatical works ranging from the 4th to the 10th century A.D. In this perspective, particular attention is given to the specific terminology and metaterminology used by the authors, as the main heuristic element, in order to show traces of a reflection on syntax by late-antique and medieval grammarians.


  • history of linguistics
  • syntax
  • government
  • metalanguage
  • preposition
  • praepositio
  • casus
  • Donatus
  • late-antique and medieval grammarians


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