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Roman brick stamps: evidence for the development of Latin case syntax
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Roman brick stamps: evidence for the development of Latin case syntax

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Abstract: We show that by the third century AD at the latest, the choice of case in Latin... mehr
Roman brick stamps: evidence for the development of Latin case syntax
Abstract: We show that by the third century AD at the latest, the choice of case in Latin prepositional phrases had become arbitrary. This is evident from certain Roman brick stamps of the period, where the prepositions ex and de govern the accusative rather than the ablative. Our approach is based on the concept of normativity and its implications for historical linguistics. The findings, based on the analysis of 21 brick stamp texts from the second and third century AD, indicate that there is no direct causal relationship betweenphonetic, morphological or syntactic factors in the process of morphosyntactic change that eventually resulted in the collapse of the Latin case system. The conclusion is that in the third century AD there existed two norms in the language: ex/de…ABL was the only correct expression in higher registers, while ex/de…ACC was widespread and less incorrect in lower registers.