Jacob Wackernagel, Lectures on Syntax: With Special Reference to Greek, Latin, and Germanic

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This book offers an English version of two series of highly-acclaimed introductory lectures given by the Swiss linguist and classical philologist Jacob Wackernagel (1853-1938) at the University of Basel in 1918/19 on aspects of the morphosyntax of Greek, Latin, and the Germanic languages, and published at his students' prompting. The subjects covered - after a long introduction to the study of syntax and the parts of speech - are: number, person, voice, tense, mood, infinitive, supine and gerund, participles, case, gender, nouns and adjectives, pronouns, articles, prepositions, negation. This is a book about grammar, but a grammar-book which talks and charms, and which makes an adventure of the workings of the classical languages. Ninety years after they were first delivered, Wackernagel's Lectures are still among the best available introductions, in any language, to Greek, Latin, and comparative syntax and to many aspects of the history, pre-history, stylistics, and socio-linguistics of Greek and Latin and their relations with other languages - not to mention other subjects brilliantly introduced, such as the history of grammatical terminology. This new edition supplements the German original by providing: a translation of all quotations and examples (and of Wackernagel's additions and corrections - both those printed at the end of the second Swiss edition and some of those left in his manuscript notes), a large number of detailed footnotes offering background information and suggestions for further reading, and a single bibliography which brings together Wackernagel's references and those in the notes.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages1008
ISBN (Print)978-0198153023
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2009


  • definite article
  • grammatical case
  • grammatical gender
  • grammatical mood
  • grammatical negation
  • non-finite verb
  • grammatical number
  • parts of speech
  • grammatical person
  • preposition
  • pronoun
  • syntax
  • tense
  • grammatical voice
  • Jacob Wackernagel


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