Posted by Bruce Kahl on October 27, 2003
In Reply to: Ciceronian declension posted by Word Camel on October 25, 2003
: : : : : what's the meaning and origin of "ciceronian declension"?
: : : I can tell you what the individual words mean.
: : : http://www.m-w.com/home.htm
: : : Main Entry: Cic·ero
: : : Pronunciation: 'si-s&-"rO
: : : Function: biographical name
: : : Marcus Tullius 106-43 B.C. Roman statesman, lawyer, orator, & author; one of the greatest Roman orators; innovator of Ciceronian rhetoric; staunch defender of republican principles; writings include books of rhetoric, orations, philosophical and political treatises, and letters
: : : - Cic·ero·nian /"si-s&-'rO-ny&n, -nE-&n/ adjective
: : : Main Entry: de·clen·sion
: : : Pronunciation: di-'klen(t)-sh&n
: : : Function: noun
: : : Etymology: Middle English declenson, modification of Middle French declinaison, from Latin declination-, declinatio grammatical inflection, turning aside, from declinare to inflect, turn aside
: : : Date: 15th century
: : : 1 a : noun, adjective, or pronoun inflection especially in some prescribed order of the forms b : a class of nouns or adjectives having the same type of inflectional forms
: : : 2 : a falling off or away : DETERIORATION
: : : 3 : DESCENT, SLOPE
: : : - de·clen·sion·al /-'klen(t)-sh&-n&l/ adjective
: : Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-65 BCE) was a politician, orator and speechwriter who had a very elaborate writing style. His parents were very wealthy and like most well-to-do kids back then, he was sent to Greece where he dormed in Athens.
: : He learned to be a verbal artist--the overstatements in sarcastic vein and all the tricks and devices of rhetorical discipline.
: : When you look at Ciceronian influences on the language back then and compare that to the Roman language that existed 200 years later you will see differences.
: : For instance, Cicero would pronounce the word "agricolae" ( which means "farmers" in English) with the -ae sounding like "ay".
: : 200 years or so later when the Roman Catholic church took command of the language the -ae was pronounced as "I".
: : This is an example of the Ciceronian declension.
: : So when something is described as being of the "Ciceronian Declension" then that something is being described as being eloquent.
: : ( Not once did I use the L word )
: Bravo! Very impressive, Mr. Kahl.