Non-Literary Latin Letters

Non-Literary Latin Letters

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Halla-aho, Hilla
The Non-Literary Latin Letters. A study of their syntax and pragmatics
Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters
Commentationes Humanarum Litterarum 124
Tammisaari 2009, 189 pp.


This work is about Latin letters to authorities, superiors, colleagues, friends and family. These texts, written on papyri, ostraca and wooden tablets, offer valuable and often rare evidence of Latin as it was used outside the literary texts in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. They bring to light the Latin of such language users who otherwise have largely remained invisble to posterity. In this study is described and analyzed certain features of the syntax of these letters. The focus is on sentence structure. Key questions include: How did the writers organize the information they wanted to convey to the addressee? Were they able to render longer and more complicated structures coherently? What strategies did they use in such cases? What kind of influence did spoken language have on the language of these written texts?

Additional Information

ISBN 978-951-653-363-9
ISSN 0069-6587