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Colloquial and Literary Latin
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Book description

What is colloquial Latin? What can we learn about it from Roman literature, and how does an understanding of colloquial Latin enhance our appreciation of literature? This book sets out to answer such questions, beginning with examinations of how the term 'colloquial' has been used by linguists and by classicists (and how its Latin equivalents were used by the Romans) and continuing with exciting new research on colloquial language in a wide range of Latin authors. Each chapter is written by a leading expert in the relevant area, and the material presented includes new editions of several texts. The Introduction presents the first account in English of developments in the study of colloquial Latin over the last century, and throughout the book findings are presented in clear, lucid, and jargon-free language, making a major scholarly debate accessible to a broad range of students and non-specialists.


'If, in a postmodern academy, the old 'Vulgar Latin' project of trying to recover the ways the Roman really spoke now seems hopelessly passé, this collection is unsurpassed for its studies of how they represented their speech. Something at least in this book will be required reading for everyone researching both Latin literature and Latin linguistics.'

Philip Burton Source: The Classical Review

'… this volume is worthy of the great scholar and expert on 'colloquial' Latin to whom it has been dedicated.'

Gerd Haverling Source: Journal of Roman Studies

'… represents a clearly delineated and sustained enquiry into the nature of colloquial Latin that makes a substantial contribution to scholarship, with a series of incisive studies of Latin style that partly break down previous easy assumptions and misleading claims about the distinctions between 'colloquial' and 'literary' as different registers of the Latin language. … [The reader] comes away with a much sharper understanding of stylistic variations in Latin literature, and the collection should be of as much interest to literary critics (we need to sit up and take notice!) as to philologists.'

Rebecca Langlands Source: Greece and Rome

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