The Mirror of Grammar
Theology, philosophy and the Modistae
L.G. Kelly | Darwin College, Cambridge
Much is known about the grammar of the modistae and about its eclipse; this book sets out to trace its rise. In the late eleventh century grammar became an analytical rather than an exegetical discipline under the impetus of the new theology. Under the impetus of Arab learning the ancient sciences were reshaped according to the norms of Aristotle’s Analytics, and developed within a structure of speculative sciences beginning with grammar and culminating in theology. Though the modistae acknowledge Aristotle, Donatus, Priscian and the Arab commentators, their roots also lie in Augustine and Boethius, and they took as much from their scholastic contemporaries as they gave them. This book traces the genesis of a grammar which communicated freely with other speculative sciences, shared their structures and methods, and affirmed its own individuality by defining its object as the causes of language.
[Studies in the History of the Language Sciences, 101] 2002. x, 236 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
1. Vox , Articulation and Porphyry
2. Esse, Intelligere, Consignificare
3. Noun and Pronoun
4. Verb and Participle
5. The Indeclinable Parts of Speech
6. Construction and Syntax
Conclusion: Silvering the Mirror of Language
“[...] a particularly thorough historical exploration of the Modistae, the medieval school of speculative grammar that sought to blend Aristotelian logic with Augustinian views on language [...]”
David Golumbia, University of Virginia, in Language Vol. 81:4 (2006)
“For more than seven centuries the Wise in Dante’s Sphere of the Sun have awaited a synthesis of their linguistic wisdom in the context of their understanding of God and the human mind. Kelly, having accomplished this monumental task, has earned his seat among them. He charts the revolutionary developments in grammatical theory that took place in the 12th and 13th centuries, and most intensely in the Paris of the 1260s-70s, which he compares to MIT in the 1950s-60s. Composed of erudition and insight in equal measures, the book radiates enlightenment and inspiration. The balance among topics and chapters is exquisite, the writing crystalline. In a word, the book is great, in both the classical and vernacular senses.”
John E. Joseph, University of Edinburgh
Cited by 18 other publications
2016. L’interjection dans la tradition grammaticale latine, de l’Antiquité à l’Humanisme. In History of Linguistics 2014 [Studies in the History of the Language Sciences, 126], ► pp. 83 ff.
2017. Syntax in the earliest Latin-Portuguese grammatical treatises. Historiographia Linguistica 44:2-3 ► pp. 228 ff.
Fredborg, Karin Margareta
2014. Medieval Commentators on the Notion ‘persona agentis’ in Priscian’s Syntactic Theory. Historiographia Linguistica 41:2-3 ► pp. 219 ff.
Kelly, L. G.
2011. The Discipline of Writing and Speaking Correctly. Historiographia Linguistica 38:1-2 ► pp. 127 ff.
2020. Categorical versus thetic sentences in the Universal Grammar of Realism. In Thetics and Categoricals [Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 262], ► pp. 14 ff.
2020. Chapter 1. Syntactic relations in ancient and medieval grammatical theory. In Chapters of Dependency Grammar [Studies in Language Companion Series, 212], ► pp. 24 ff.
Manzano Ventura, Victoria
2017. Latin parsing grammars from the Carolingian age to the later Middle Ages. Historiographia Linguistica 44:2-3 ► pp. 255 ff.
TURAN, Bülent & Gürkan HAŞİT
[no author supplied]
2020. Chapter 1. The historiography of linguistics past, present, future. In Last Papers in Linguistic Historiography [Studies in the History of the Language Sciences, 128], ► pp. 4 ff.
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U.S. Library of Congress Control Number: 2002074488 | Marc record