1887
Volume 13, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN 0302-5160
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9781
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Abstract

SUMMARYThe popularity, and hence survival, of certain of the grammars of late Antiquity in the early Middle Ages can to a large extent be described in typological terms. The two principal ancient genres, the Schulgrammatik and the regulae type, were joined in the fifth century by a new genre, the grammatical commentary. The overwhelming importance of Donatus and commentaries on Donatus and the emergence of the elementary foreign-language grammar in the seventh and eighth centuries reveal the subsistence level of language study in early Christendom. The conceptually more challenging grammars of the regulae type, as well as shorter works of the Schulgrammatik type, suffered a temporary eclipse. The greater linguistic confidence of the Carolingian Renaissance shifted the balance toward works of a more varied and demanding nature. Priscian's Partitiones and Institutiones grammaticae re-entered circulation and in the next few centuries were assiduously excerpted and glossed. Ancient Donatus commentaries were superseded by newly-written ones and were joined by Carolingian commentaries on the principal authors of the regulae type, Phocas and Eutyches. Shorter grammars of the Schulgrammatik type and minor regulae grammars enjoyed a brief return to favour in the first half of the ninth century but failed to establish themselves in the curriculum. Instead, Carolingian teachers devoted themselves to the development of another new genre, the parsing grammar, which was to survive well into the sixteenth century.The survival pattern of Late Latin grammars thus reflects the priorities of the early Middle Ages. In an environment in which the Latin language, and with it basic literacy, were barely established, the theoretical disquisitions of Varro and Priscian were irrelevant and unhelpful. Many ancient grammatical texts were undoubtedly lost at the end of Antiquity, during the transition from papyrus to parchment; others may well have disappeared in the pre-Carolingian period, when the demands of elementary language teaching were uppermost. This was the final hurdle: those ancient grammars which survived to the Carolingian Renaissance are virtually all available today.RESUMELa popularity, et partant la survie, au Haut-Moyen-Age, de certains grammairiens de la Basse-Antiquite peut se decrire, assez largement, en ter-mes typologiques. Aux deux genres anciens de base, la grammaire scolaire et le type "regulae", etait venu s'ajouter au Ve siecle un genre nouveau: le commentaire grammatical. L'importance ecrasante de Donat et des com-mentaires sur Donat, et l'apparition de la grammaire elementaire "langue etrangere" aux VIIe et VIIIe siecles revelent dans quelle mesure l'etude de la langue se maintient dans la chretiente des premiers siecles. Les grammaire du type regulae, conceptuellement plus ambitieuses, aussi bien que des ouvrages plus bref| du type grammaire scolaire subient une eclipse tem-poraire. L'assurance linguistique, plus affirmée, de la Renaissance carolin-gienne fit pencher la balance vers des ouvrages de nature plus variee et plus exigeante. Remises en circulation, les Partitiones et les Instiiutiones gram-maticae de Priscien furent abondamment citees et glosees au cours des siecles suivants. Les anciens commentaires sur Donat se visent evinces par des ouvrages recents, cependant que venaient s'y joindre des commentaires ca-rolingiens sur les principaux auteurs du type regulae: Phocas et Eutyches. De breves grammaires du type grammaire scolaire ou regulae allaient reve-nir en faveur dans la premiere moitie du IXe siècle, mais sans pouvoir s'im-poser dans le curriculum. En lieu et place, les enseignants carolingiens se consacrerent au developpement d'un genre nouveau: la grammaire du type analyse grammatical, qui allait persister jusqu'au XVIe siecle.La grille de persistance des grammaires de la basse latinite est ainsi le reflet des priorites du Haut-Moyen-Age. Dans un environnement ou la langue latine, et done l'aptitude a la lire et a l'ecrire, n'avait qu'une base assez faible, les dissertations theoriques de Varron ou Priscien n'etaient d'aucune pertinence ni d'aucun secours. II est certain que bien des textes grammaticaux anciens disparurent a la fin de l'Antiquite, quand on passa du papyrus au parchemin; d'autres, peut-etre, a la periode pre-carolingienne, ou predominant les exigences en matiere d'enseignement elementaire de la lan-gue. Ce fut la la derniere haie: les grammairiens anciens qui ont survecu a la Renaissance carolingienne restent tous virtuellement disponibles de nos jours.
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/content/journals/10.1075/hl.13.2-3.13law
1986-01-01
2019-12-10
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References

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  • Article Type: Research Article
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