The Heart of Latin
About the course
Much of Latin seems counter-intuitive to English-speaking students. Seemingly arbitrary and very difficult features of the language like cases, word order, and the incredible number of verb forms not only make the language difficult to learn, they also take a major toll on student motivation. This course will tackle those issues by considering the weird aspects of Latin grammar from the standpoint of the fundamental goal of all language: communication. As we answer the many “why” questions about Latin that often go undiscussed in the regular course of study, students will discover a love of Latin and of language in general that will make them excited to continue in their study. (This course is supplemental to a normal course of Latin study; it does not replace it.)
Note: The .5 credit for this course is optional.
- To develop an understanding of how language in general works and the elements that go into making up meaning;
- To map the major features of Latin grammar onto these basic features of language;
- To gain a sense that Latin grammar is a particularly ingenius way of solving certain communication problems;
- To discuss issues with the learning of Latin grammar in isolation from the task of learning that grammar
- To explore English grammar and the way it addresses similar challenges.
- Examples will be drawn from both English and Latin literature