In this issue:
R. Maltby – G. Calboli – E. Cesaretti – F. Stok – L. Lanza – M. Ravetto – F. Grande – D. Vaccaro – C. Gaetani Liseo – L. Bignotti – G. Altamura
The paper discusses theories of the origin of language and of the relationship between words and things in the Classical sources, including Plato’s Cratylus and Varro’s De Lingua Latina, and compares their ideas with those of modern linguistic science. The main debate in the ancient world was whether the connection between words and things was natural or conventional. The idea of a natural connection between words and things, as proposed by Cratylus in Plato, is rejected by Aristotle, but continues, in combination with some form of conventional theory, into Epicurean, Stoic (reflected also in Varro) and modern linguistic theories.
Gualtiero Calboli, Linguistica antica e linguistica di oggi
The modern linguistics is built on ancient linguistics, in particular on Greek and Latin grammar: e.g. the concept of a sentence as truth value (i.e. as a combination of language terms enough for giving a judgement of true/false) which should be the reference point of all the parts of a speech (Chomsky, Montague) has been conceived already by Aristotle and developed by the Stoics with the ¢x…wma theory. Then starting from the criterion of ‘grammaticalization’ largely employed in modern linguistics the concept of L language (logical language) as metalinguistic approach to a language has been taken into account and connected with the ‘true/false criterion’. Such a criterion has been investigated from Mesopotamian corpora of laws and from Hittite, Greek and Latin laws and juridical activity. In this way, on the one hand, a linguistic attention (metalinguitics) has been produced and, on the other hand, some more complicated forms of language as optative, subjunctive, aspects and different syntactic structures have been developed in some languages as Vedic, Greek, Latin, Tocharian. Such an enrichment of some Indo-European languages produced on its side some adjustment in nominal, pronominal and verbal system in strong connexion with the structure of language (birth of the article in Greek and Romance Languages, derived from Latin, and, at the same time, reduction or death of nominal forms of the verb as the participle constructions and the AcI). On the other hand the problem of the changes introduced into a language as Latin is connected with the ‘core grammar’. The change remains firmly if and only if it enters in the ‘core grammar’ of a language. The ‘core grammar’ on its side can be acknowledged through the comparison of some bilingual Greek-Latin documents. Finally the doctrine of tropes and figures has been given as well as the development of the metaphor and of the group of figures connected to the “alloiosis”.
Enrico Cesaretti, Massimo Bontempelli e il mito classico: il caso di Gente nel tempo
This essay offers an interpretation of Bontempelli’s novel, Gente nel tempo, by examining and expanding upon the implications of the ‘modernized’ classical Greek myth of Kronos. In the light of the author’s ideas on artistic creativity, history and time, this myth lies at the very core of the work and suggests that this novel, while pointing to the destructive, devouring pattern of time known as Kronos, could also hint at a way in which an alternative, more human time (Kairos) might be salvaged and re-experienced. Bontempelli’s desired ‘recovery of the individual’ and his related aesthetic project of escape from the negativity of History may derive from an alternative ‘kairotic’ experience in which time is characterized by its qualitative rather than its quantitative nature and artistic creativity reacquires a pre-eminent, active role. For Bontempelli, I ultimately argue, the category of ‘play’, in all its ramifications, represents this sort of salvific experience.
Greek and Latin authors are frequently quoted in Freud’s works, as part of a discursive strategy which presents reconstructible development. References to the ancient world are absent or rare in the first period of Freud’s activity, until 1899: in their “Studies on Hysteria” Freud and Breuer don’t quote Aristotle, despite the fact that their ‘cathartic method’ took its name from Aristotle’s catharsis. References to Aristotle, Artemidoros and other classical authors are present in the first edition of “The Interpretation of Dreams”, and become more frequent and detailed in the following editions. Subsequently Freud indicated some Greek authors as the real precursors of his thought: Plato for his theory of eros, seen as an antecedent of the psychoanalytical libido, and Empedocles for the death instinct introduced by Freud in the last years of his life.
In Sylvia Plath’s visionary universe there are several images, fantasies and ghosts infesting – and at the same time – feeding her poety and soul. Many of them reemerge from a more or less remote past, and also from the patrimony of classical mythology, to branch off into more recent monsters, which are therefore much more dangerous. This is the case of the Gorgon Medusa, coming to the surface from literary and artistic Greek, Roman and Etruscan ancient cultures, tragically reembodying itself in the (real) figure of the godmother Aurelia – as evident in passages in her prose and poetry and, even more so, in the vibrant pages of her Journals. Since the American poet’s early production, the eternal and unresolved conflict with the mother figure determines a series of restless drives, desires, anxieties, rejections, uncertainties, in an endless and painful alternation of victories and defeats. Those obsessions and motifs find further – though different – echoes in the pages concerning the marriage experience with Hughes, doomed to end tragically, for Plath, with her disappointment at his adultery and her later suicide at the age of 30.
Miriam Ravetto, Pseudorelativsätze vs. Relativsätze im Frühneuhochdeutschen und im Neuhochdeutschen: Syntax, Semantik und kommunikative Funktion
The present contribution is devoted to the study of German “pseudo-relative clauses”, i.e. clauses introduced by an anaphoric d-pronoun (der/die/das). Despite great analogies with subordinate relative clauses, they differ from the latter because of the second position of the finite verb (s. Es gibt Philosophen, die kommen aus Grönland). Pseudo-relative clauses are analysed and compared with subordinate relative clauses according to a wide corpus of written texts from ENHG and NHG. The two clause types are firstly examined on the ground of syntactic features (position of the clause, word class of their antecedent etc.) and then according to their semantic-pragmatic functions (descriptive, narrative, identifying function etc.). The diachronic study aims at checking analogies and differences in the use of the structures in the two historical periods. Secondly, the work points out possible factors which favour the presence of one clause type instead of the other.
Francesco Grande, L’insegnamento dell’arabo in contesto migratorio: proposte per un modello didattico diglossico e minimalista
This paper deals with the language-teaching model adopted within the Arabic language teaching program Laboratorio Interculturale (LABINT) held in Milan. Section 1 sketches out the sociolinguistic and educational scenario in the Arab countries, focusing on their diglossic situation. Section 2 offers a case-study of LABINT’s language-teaching model. Section 3 and 4 put forward that the learning of Modern Standard Arabic is simplified if one capitalizes on pupils’ dialectal competence, which is both lexical, as claimed in sociolinguistics (‘coexisting systems’ hypothesis) and syntactic, as assumed in the Chomskyan ‘Principles and Parameters’ model. Section 5 and 6 draft a syllabus based on this approach and present the conclusions.
Daniela Vaccaro, Numerical Value of the Foreign languages Classroom and Relationship with quality of the Teaching Method. Considerations and Research Themes
This work is based on variable quantitative analysis of the students in relationship to the teaching method of the F.L.E. and it represents a study about different levels of analysis in the second language acquisition. The starting point for our investigation is a subdivision of the four categories of variables based on the Savignon theory. The studies on this topic involve Gardner and Bettoni works. They are based on student’s needs and on the interlanguage definitions of Corder, Selinker and Py; the monitor model proposed by Krashen; the difference between competence and performance based on Ellis and Barkhuizen theory. The longitudinal and latitudinal approaches analyzed by Larsen-Freeman and Long have a great importance for our studies. Numerical approach permits to define a method of teaching/learning based on quantitative consistence of the groupclass.
Cristina Gaetani Liseo, La battaglia del frontespizio e la percezione della traduzione
This article deals with the perception of the translation, which is analysed from two points of view. First, the omission of the translator’s name in many title pages is considered from the librarian point of view. Then the results of a survey in a public library are commented. How the readers perceive the translation of literature, the figure of the translator and the relationship between him and the author. The data show that the subject needs further studies.
Laura Bignotti, Traduzione come creazione poetica. I sonetti di Veronica Gambara nella versione tedesca di Martin Opitz
Among the literary works Martin Opitz (1597-1639) took as a model for his translations is a vast number of texts belonging to the wide repertoire of European Petrarchism. As for the Italian models, his Weltliche Poemata (1644) include, in addition to the German version of two sonnets by Petrarch, the translation of seven poems by Veronica Gambara from Brescia (1485-1550). The analysis presented here casts a light on the peculiarity of Opitz’s “translations” – more appropriately Nachdichtungen – that is to say a particular way of content reproduction that bears witness of a more or less conscious reinterpretation and personalization, though respecting the much formalized expressive code imposed by the original texts.
Giuliana Altamura, Il dialogo nell’opera del primo Maeterlinck
After dwelling on the analysis of the poetics of silence in the Belgian playwright, the essay is intended to investigate the dialogue in Maeterlinck’s first works. The refusal of the classical mimesis leads towards a dialogue that mirrors the dynamics of the unconscious, adding a precious further level of reading which goes beyond superficial, immediate communication to reach a universal meaning. Words seem to recover a primordial dimension and the unsaid is used to convey what the limits of language cannot express. The result is an impersonal, uncommunicative, fragmented dialogue, saturated with repetitions and echoes, deprived of logical connections and interspersed with exclamations and pauses to enhance anxiety and lack of dynamism.
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