Connections in Archaic Latin Prose

J. H. W. Penney

in Aspects of the Language of Latin Prose

Published by British Academy

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263327
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734168 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Connections in Archaic Latin Prose

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This chapter presents some of the trends observable in the scanty evidence for early Latin prose that deserve scrutiny and may perhaps shed some light on the development of the classical patterns. Comparison with the Sabellian languages may also be instructive in allowing the Italic background to be taken into account in any attempt to determine distinctive Latin practice. Discussion is largely confined to copulative conjunction, both of words or word groups and of clauses, either by asyndeton or with one of the conjunctions -que, atque (ac) and et, but it should be noted that even in the earliest inscriptions one can find examples of other modes of connection, such as the use of emphatically contrastive words, cf. The atque was well entrenched in early Latin, but Cato’s usage has suggested to many that it was a weightier variant. A careful examination of Plautus’ use of atque may perhaps one day offer some clues to a solution, but verse texts are inevitably problematic.

Keywords: Latin prose; Sabellian languages; atque; Cato; Plautus

Chapter.  6300 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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