Latin Variants

Andrew Dunning andrew.dunning at
Sat Feb 27 15:51:43 CET 2016

> On 27 Feb 2016, at 2:05 pm, Michael Everson <everson at> wrote:
> Is Carruthers’ 1964 translation “Alicia in Terra Mirabili” in Classical Latin? In Neo-Latin? How can one tell?

Most Latin written today uses Classical orthography and syntax, but under the scheme I am proposing it would fall under Neo-Latin; the Knight and Tilg volume I cited defines this as 'Latin language and literature from around the time of the early Italian humanist Petrarch (1304–1374) up until the present day’ ( But it’s possible that it would be more useful to tag it as Classical Latin.

The problem, as Arthur’s note also indicates, is that ‘Neo-Latin’ can mean many things from a linguistic perspective; one cannot, for example, apply one set of spelling rules to it, especially as v and j (the so-called ‘Ramist' letters) were introduced as consonants during the Renaissance but are used in a few different ways. That could be a good reason either for limiting the number of variant tags to two for now (probably classical/medieval, but one could also make a case for classical/modern), or for breaking it down further.

All best,

Andrew Dunning

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