Article published in:Latin Grammars in Transition, 1200 - 1600
Edited by Anneli Luhtala and Mark E. Amsler
[Historiographia Linguistica 44:2/3] 2017
► pp. 430–458
Nicolaus Clenardus’ Institutiones grammaticae Latinae (1538)
Contents and context
In 1538 the Flemish humanist language scholar Nicolaus Clenardus (1493–1542) published a grammar of Latin in Braga (Portugal), the Institutiones grammaticae Latinae. The grammar, the fruit of his public teaching in Braga, was the third in a series of grammars written by Clenardus: while active in Louvain (until 1531) he had published grammars of Hebrew (1529) and of Greek (1530). Clenardus’ Latin grammar is basically a didactic grammar, closely linked to his teaching in Portugal, for which he introduced an innovative methodology. It essentially consists of a morphological and syntactic part, followed by a series of mostly syntactic remarks and by a survey of principles of prosody and versification. Clenardus’ exposition is marked by a strong focus on formal markings (lists of nominal and verbal endings), and by the extensive integration of lexical information into the grammatical frame. Clenardus generally refrains from giving definitions of terms and concepts, and theoretical explanations are eschewed in favour of empirical exemplification. The Institutiones grammaticae Latinae provides its users with a large amount of examples, the majority of which stem from colloquial humanist Latin usage, but there are also various examples taken from classical Latin authors.
Published online: 28 May 2018
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