The Oxford University Press Blog posted on a new Latin text utilizing linguistic theory, more specifically the assumption of “Universal Grammar”. As the article articulates, although Latin has been brushed to the side in linguistic discussions with their grammatical categories, the authors of this book are advocating the study of a language alongside the students’ mother tongue. In this way, students are no longer pressed to memorize obscure—and sometimes forced grammatical categories—but they will identify divergences and similarities with their mother tongue.
Indeed, a vast number of recent studies have shown that language learning strongly relies on a constant and unconscious comparison between the second language (L2) and the learner’s mother tongue. By comparing linguistic phenomena across distinct languages and by interpreting the results with updated theoretical tools, we intend to underlie the deep similarities among languages rather than their superficial differences. This new teaching perspective represents a fundamental advantage for learners, who can focus their attention on the limits of linguistic variation, making their acquisitional task more feasible. In particular, by overtly reflecting on language and comparing L2 grammars to the structures of the mother tongue, the study of Latin becomes more stimulating and active.