Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 13 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

A literary canon remained the core of élite education in Classical Antiquity for centuries, while the discipline of grammar emerged to produce correct texts, explain, and evaluate it. But it was to philosophy that grammarians owed, not merely powerful theories of language’s origins, functions, constituents, and structures, all formulated in a rich meta-language, but the very conception of linguistic phenomena – as constituting a fundamentally rational system – that makes expert or scientific knowledge of them possible. Grammatical interests, whether accounting for (apparent) departures from formal or syntactic regularity, determining both the correct reading of a disputed Homeric verse and the correct rules for such a procedure, or defining the parts of speech in a school primer, of course ousted the original philosophical contexts and purposes: when the Stoic Chrysippus advised using nannies who spoke pure Greek, his aim, probably, was to improve their charges’ souls, not their economic or social prospects.

Keywords: nature, convention, analogy, etymology, normativity, pathology

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.