Vol.8, No.2 | [Article] Treatment of Pronouns in a Medieval Latin Parsing Grammar: Cunabula Grammaticae Artis Donati



In the early Middle Ages, the main and usual task of teachers of the Latin language was to present and teach the inflections in a systematic way. The grammatical descriptions in Donatus’ two popular grammar books handed down to them from Late Antiquity did not offer full accounts of inflections. The teachers’ attempts to add morphological materials to Donatus’ doctrines resulted in the medieval parsing grammars of the ninth century. The early medieval parsing grammars are characterized by the combination of Donatus’ doctrines with parsing questions about headwords, but the questions often touched on topics which are not found in Donatus’ texts, in particular when the inflectional forms were concerned. Priscian’s grammars were one of the main sources from which the morphological descriptions were drawn. The way in
which Priscian’s doctrines were incorporated into the Donatus-based grammar differed from grammarian to grammarian, but as time progressed, the early medieval parsing grammars came to share a common structure and certain sets of questioning formulas. This article presents the section on the pronouns in the Cunabula Grammaticae Artis Donati, one of the earliest medieval parsing
grammars, with a view to getting a glimpes of the way in which Priscian’s grammar was used in the medieval parsing grammars in the initial stage of their development.

Keywords: Cunabula Grammaticae Artis Donati, early medieval parsing grammars, Donatus' Ars Minor, Priscian, pronouns