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Ciceronian declension

Posted by Word Camel on October 25, 2003

In Reply to: Ciceronian declension posted by Bruce Kahl on October 25, 2003

: : : : what's the meaning and origin of "ciceronian declension"?

: : I can tell you what the individual words mean.

: :

: : 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
: : - 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.