Maritus/marita : notes on the dialectal variation in relation to lexical choices

Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2017, vol. 22, iss. 2, pp. 143-154
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
An analysis of the lexical choices between words with close or similar meanings in Latin epigraphy is one way to understand lexical variation in the language. This study focuses on formal, semantic and other reasons for the use of the words maritus, mariti (m.) and marita, maritae (f.) and their distribution in time and space in Latin epigraphy. This will allow us to better understand the relation between the juridical sense of these words and their usage in other contexts, such as poetry. This analysis of the use of maritus/marita can help us to understand semantic changes in Latin and the lexical change of the words, for instance their change into onomastic elements such as the name Marita. Also of interest is how the distribution of these words in epigraphic texts relates to the Romance languages, such as Portuguese, in which the masculine form maritus has been preserved but the feminine marita has been left behind. In this paper I approach variation in Latin through the analysis of lexical variation. I focus on epigraphic texts and assess the relevance of the data with respect to lexical choices among words that have the same or close meanings. Furthermore, I examine whether there is any connection between literary lexical choices and the other linguistic/grammatical traits of the texts.
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