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Title: Aspects of linguistic analysis and grammatica in medieval Ireland : a terminological approach
Author: Hayden, D. A.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2010
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This dissertation presents a study of medieval Irish terminology relating to the noun from a range of vernacular Irish sources. By considering the changing use of linguistic terms and theories in these texts from a perspective that is both diachronic and cross-disciplinary, the investigation aims to paint a more comprehensive picture of the evolution of language analysis in medieval Ireland over a period of several centuries. In so doing, the discussion explores questions pertaining to Ireland’s inheritance from the classical trivium of grammatical, rhetorical and dialectical disciplines, its approach to pedagogical practice and the roles of orality and literacy in medieval Irish scholars’ understanding of language as an abstract concept. Following an introductory discussion of the background and theoretical concerns surrounding such an investigation, Chapter I traces the historical context of linguistic study in the classical world and medieval Ireland. Chapter II offers an overview of dealing with language through a largely vernacular medium, addressing questions of dating, transmission, authorship and existing scholarship for texts which span a time-frame from approximately the seventh to the seventeenth century. Chapters III and IV examine vernacular terminology, beginning with nominal constituents and then considering medieval conceptions of the noun as an integral unit. Finally, Chapter V investigates the use of metaphor in grammatical analysis, showing how historical conceptions of ‘linguistic nature’ and its opposites are reflected in medieval Irish sources and how the grammatical terminology under scrutiny informs our perceptions of Irish approaches to language usage, correctness and register. This study demonstrates how early Irish linguistic theory grows out of a long tradition of viewing words as elements essential to our understanding of reality on both a concrete and an abstract level.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available