Renæssanceforum 11 • 2016

Camilla Plesner Horster
Forms and Effects of the Humanists' Grammatical Metadiscourse: Valla's Elegantiae and the development of humanist Latin

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Taking clauses with quia as an example, this article addresses the relationship between grammatical metadiscourse on how one should compose in Latin and actual practice among humanist writers in order to shed light on the workings of grammatical metadiscourse. The investigation compares quantitative data on the distribution of clauses with quia to Lorenzo Valla's warnings in his Elegantiae against the complement use of quia. It is shown how value-laden and multi-faceted this particular grammatical question is in the humanists' treatment, and how grammatical discussions interact with linguistic practice as well as with other topics in humanist metadiscourse.