Left-Dislocation in Latin

Topics and Syntax in Republican Texts


In the construction known as left-dislocation, an element appears in a fronted position, before the clause to which it belongs, usually introducing the topic of the sentence. Based on a detailed analysis of syntax, information structure and pragmatic organization, this study explores how left-dislocation is used in republican Latin comedy, prose and inscriptions as a device to introduce topics or other pragmatically prominent elements. Taking into consideration especially relative clause syntax and constraints of each text type, Hilla Halla-aho shows that, in the context of early Latin syntax and the evolving standards of the written language, left-dislocation performs similar functions in dramatic dialogue, legal inscriptions and archaic prose.
No Access


EUR €99.00USD $119.00

Biographical Note

Hilla Halla-aho, Ph.D. (2008), University of Helsinki, has published studies on Latin syntax, pragmatics and documentary material. Her earlier publications include the monograph The Non-Literary Latin Letters. A Study of Their Syntax and Pragmatics (2009).

Table of contents

1 Introduction  1.1  What Is Left-Dislocation? The Aims and Coverage of This Study  1.2  Genre, Text Type and Register  1.3  Left-Dislocation and Relative Clauses  1.4  The Republican Latin Corpus  1.5  Left-Dislocation and Early Latin Syntax
2 Defining Left-Dislocation  2.1  Syntactic and Pragmatic Aspects of Left-Dislocation in Latin  2.2  Left-Dislocation and the Latin Relative Clause  2.3  Earlier Studies on Left-Dislocation in Latin  2.4  Concluding Remarks
3 Left-Dislocation in Comedy (With an Appendix on Lucretius)  3.1  Introduction  3.2  Syntactic Description of Left-Dislocation in Comedy  3.3  Information Structure and Pragmatic Functions of Left-Dislocation in Comedy  3.4  Discussion and Conclusion  3.5  Information Structure and Pragmatic Organization of Head-Internal Relative Clauses (A1 and A2)  3.6  Comparison of LD with Sentence-Initial Relative Clauses without Resumption in the Matrix Clause (B2 and C2)  3.7  Appendix on LD in Lucretius
4 Left-Dislocation in the Epigraphic Material  4.1  Introduction  4.2  Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus, Sententia Minuciorum, Lex de pariete faciendo  4.3  The Roman Statutes  4.4  Discussion on the Statutes and Other Legal Inscriptions  4.5  Relevant Constructions from other (Private) Inscriptions  4.6  Discussion and Conclusions
5 Left-Dislocation in Republican Prose  5.1  Introduction  5.2  M. Porcius Cato: De agricultura  5.3  Roman Historians and Orators  5.4  M. Terentius Varro  5.5  Conclusion
6 Conclusion
Bibliography Subject Index Index Locorum


Scholars working on Latin syntax, especially in the republican period, and generally those interested in how syntax, particularly in its non-standard form, is influenced by information structure and pragmatic organization.


Collection Information