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In: Xenophon: Ethical Principles and Historical Enquiry
Editor: Schepens
The literary activity of Hermippos of Smyrna (2nd half 3rd century B.C.) covered various fields, but he mainly gained fame as a biographer of celebrities in the cultural and literary sphere: legislators, the Seven Sages, philosophers, rhetoricians, poets.
The present study (edition, translation and commentary) of the fragmentary remains of his biographical and other historical works shows Hermippos firmly entrenched in the Alexandrian intellectual milieu of his time, as exemplified by his derivative method and his juxtaposition of sensational stories and pinacographical material (lists of writings, pupils); his aim can best be described as 'infotainment'.
No other biographer has been cited more often by later writers in antiquity, and Suetonius singled him out as an influential predecessor, so Hermippos stands as a key figure in the history of ancient biography.

Die Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker is available in print, and now also online as part of the online reference work Jacoby Online. Please click here for more details.
This fascicle, presenting fragmentary biographical texts of the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. is the first in a series of eight which will deal with all surviving fragments of ancient Greek biographical writing.
Before Greek biography emerged as a literary genre of its own at the beginning of the Hellenistic period, biographical interest already found expression in various other forms of literature. The testimonia and fragmenta edited, translated and commented in this fascicle illustrate the roots of the biographical genre.
In view of the themes which became prominent in later biographical writing, the fragments have been arranged thematically: traditions on the 'Seven Wise Men', on lives of philosophers, poets and politicians.

Die Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker is available in print, and now also online as part of the online reference work Jacoby Online. Please click here for more details.

Certain first languages (L1) seem to impede the acquisition of a specific L2 more than other L1s do. This study investigates to what extent different L1s have an impact on the proficiency levels attained in L2 Dutch (Dutch L2 learnability). Our hypothesis is that the varying effects across the L1s are explainable by morphological similarity patterns between the L1s and L2 Dutch. Correlational analyses on typologically defined morphological differences between 49 L1s and L2 Dutch show that L2 learnability co-varies systematically with similarities in morphological features. We investigate a set of 28 morphological features, looking both at individual features and the total set of features. We then divide the differences in features into a class of increasing and a class of decreasing morphological complexity. It turns out that observed Dutch L2 proficiency correlates more strongly with features based on increasing morphological complexity (r = -.67, p < .0001) than with features based on decreasing morphological complexity (r = -.45, p < .005). Degree of similarity matters (r = -.77, p < .0001), but increasing complexity seems to be the decisive property in establishing L2 learnability. Our findings may offer a better understanding of L2 learnability and of the different proficiency levels of L2 speakers. L2 learnability and L2 proficiency co-vary in terms of the morphological make-up of the mother tongue and the second language to be learned.

In: Language Dynamics and Change