Prologue: On grammar and women

Helena Sanson

in Women, Language and Grammar in Italy, 1500-1900

Published by British Academy

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264836
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754043 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs

Prologue: On grammar and women

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This chapter begins with a brief review of various personifications of grammar. It suggests that whichever personification Grammar is given, the underlying point — that she holds a central position in the system of education of the liberal arts — remains. She is the cradle of knowledge and the point of entry to a whole range of disciplines, skills, and methods that in turn lead to further literary and textual knowledge. This is followed by discussions of how teaching and learning grammar was considered unsuitable for women; the impact of the invention of printing on the form, content, and transmission of knowledge; and the emergence of the literary vernacular alongside Latin in the sixteenth century. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords: grammar; printing; literary vernacular; Latin

Chapter.  6053 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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