Sanctius' Minerva of 1562 and the Evolution of His Linguistic Theory
The 1587 edition of Sanctius' Minerva was not the first edition: a 1562 version has recently been discovered. This paper outlines Sanctius' linguistic theory as it is advanced in the earlier version and traces its evolution. Some aspects of Sanctius' system are briefly considered with relation to his immediate predecessors Linacre, Scaliger, and Ramus. I attempt to show that the basic tenets of his theory are already present in the early work: his conception of grammar, the importance of his logical rules (rationes), and his abstract notion of ellipsis as an essential mechanism for positing underlying structures and general rules, as well as for explaining obscure syntactic constructions. His views on the noun and the constructio of nouns, on verbs and the constructio of verbs are presented in an effort to show his evolution towards a more simple and general system of language. No attempt is made to cover those aspects of his theory which appear only in the later Minerva.
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