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date: 20 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In the case of Latin, the characteristically medieval situation of language acquisition comes about at the point where one can say that all of Europe stands at a sufficient temporal, geographic, and cultural remove from Latin, which anyone who wishes to use the language must acquire through study. The distancing from Latin can be detected in the attitudes of compilers and commentators who mediated the grammatical literature of antiquity to medieval audiences. The Latin grammars that medieval teachers and students used in their project of acquiring Latin were originally written to induce in native speakers a conscious awareness of analytical categories for describing their own language. The extent of the distance between spoken and written forms of the language has been a topic of controversy among scholars of the development of the Romance languages and of Latin literacy. Any appraisal of the Latin-acquisition process for communities that encountered Latin afresh with conversion to Christianity is to some extent complicated.

Keywords: Europe, Latin, commentators, grammatical literature, Latin grammars, Romance languages, Christianity

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