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A scholar who is also a gifted teacher, Mason Hammond offers here a guide to the Latin language that will be welcomed not only by students and teachers of Latin, whether on the secondary level or in college, but by anyone interested in a fuller understanding of the language.
Hammond sets out to show how Latin developed its complex structure. In the process of giving the historical and linguistic reasons for seemingly arbitrary forms and constructions, he helps to foster an awareness of the nature of linguistics. In addition to the book’s detailed examination of phonology, morphology, and syntax, there are discussions of the Indo-European and Italic background of Latin, the development of the Roman alphabet, pronunciation, versification, postclassical Latin and the Romance languages, and the relation of English to Latin. Hammond’s account is based on modern linguistic research, and yet it is presented in such a way as to be readily comprehensible to students. His exposition is always clear and is accompanied by concrete examples and a wealth of illustrative information.