Article published in:History of Linguistics 2008: Selected papers from the eleventh International Conference on the History of the Language Sciences (ICHoLS XI), 28 August - 2 September 2008, Potsdam
Edited by Gerda Haßler
[Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 115] 2011
► pp. 69–91
Grammatical doxography in Antiquity
The (hi-)stories of the parts-of-speech system
The origin and development of the parts-of-speech system was the subject of retrospective accounts written by ancient Greek and Latin authors interested in this evolutionary process of grammaticography. These accounts, containing a survey of doctrines and viewpoints concerning the number and nature of the parts of speech, can be labeled ‘doxographies’: They offer (short) stories of opinions held by grammarians and philosophers concerning the partes orationis. In this paper, the corpus of ancient doxographical texts concerning the parts of speech system is presented; this is followed by an analysis of their status, their historiographical approach, and their contents. Specific attention is paid to the following points: (a) the time-perspective adopted by the authors of these doxographies; (b) their interest in grammatical and philosophical argumentation; (c) differences in the perception of the evolution of doctrines. Finally the issue is addressed of what purpose these texts were intended to serve, and of their ‘Sitz-im-Leben’. These ancient doxographical texts, which until now have been largely ignored or neglected by historians of ancient linguistics, offer highly relevant information on the terminology and criteria used in Greco-Latin, and they testify to a fundamental historiographical-methodological consciousness among ancient scholars.
Published online: 22 April 2011
Cited by 1 other publications
Denecker, Tim & Pierre Swiggers
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 18 june 2022. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.