Article published in:History of Linguistics 2005: Selected papers from the Tenth International Conference on the History of the Language Sciences (ICHOLS X), 1–5 September 2005, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Edited by Douglas A. Kibbee
[Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 112] 2007
► pp. 80–88
Priscian's pedagogy: A critique of the Institutio de nomine et pronomine et verbo
This article critically assesses the linguistic and pedagogical value of Priscian’s analysis of Latin nouns and verbs in his short treatise on the noun, pronoun, and verb. After determining that the Institutio de nomine et pronomine et verbodiffers substantially from Priscian’s other grammatical texts, the author demonstrates that Priscian’s accounts of the noun and verb are a “mixed bag”. Priscian’s lengthy list of nominative singular endings is less than satisfactory, and his paragraphs on the Latin verb are often bizarre (e.g., the first person plural is derived from the second singular by the insertion of an infix: ama-s thus becomes ama-mu-s). Priscian’s Institutio does, however, provide a succinct enumeration of the five declensions and four conjugations and an appropriately organized array of nominal and verbal paradigms that make the teaching and learning of Latin much easier for mediaeval schoolmasters and students.
Published online: 28 November 2007