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Latinate


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Derived from or imitating the Latin language. Latinate diction in English is the use of words derived from Latin rather than those originating in Old English, e.g. suspend rather than hang. A Latinate style may also be marked by prominent syntactic inversion, especially the delaying of the main verb: while the normal English word order is subject-verb-object, Milton frequently uses the Latin order object-subject-verb in his poem Paradise Lost (1667), as in the lineHis far more pleasant garden God ordainedMilton's is the most notoriously Latinate style in English verse. In English prose, especially of the 18th century, Latinity appears both in diction and in the periodic sentence, which delays the completion of the sense through a succession of subordinate clauses, as in this sentence from Edward Gibbon's Memoirs (1796):It was at Rome, on the 15th of October, 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the barefooted friars were singing vespers in the Temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind.Particular instances of words, phrases, or constructions taken from the Latin are called Latinisms.

It was at Rome, on the 15th of October, 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the barefooted friars were singing vespers in the Temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind.

Subjects: Literature.


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