Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lesser-known Historical Grammars of Latin XIII

The book pictured at left was published in 1962 by the  Italian linguist Carlo Tagliavini.  It is the 3rd edition of a work first published in 1938 and 1939. Tagliavini was a master expositor and like his outstanding Le origine delle lingue neolatine this book is a very readable and well organized survey of the material. The most interesting fact I picked up from this book was Tagliavini's statement in the preface that he was not able to complete the section on verbal morphology in 1939 (later added in the second edition of 1949) because he was called away in March of that year on a mission for the Ministero degli Esteri in Poland.  I haven't been able to find anything about this mission in other sources although I haven't examined Jerzy Borejsza's book about Poland, Germany and Italy on the eve of  WWII.  Interestingly, Tagliavini was a noted Albanologist and Italy's invasion of Albania took place in April of 1939.  Could this have been the real reason for his sudden departure? Pure speculation.

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