Linguistics essays for Cambridge 1A and 1B classicists

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  1. Describe an ideal writing system. How do the writing systems of Latin and Greek compare to it?
  2. Define case syncretism and give examples to illustrate the phenomenon in Latin and Greek.
  3. Explain the difference between tense and aspect. In what ways do the aspectual systems of Greek and Latin differ from one another? You can draw examples from your set texts.
  4. Explain the difference between textual cohesion and coherence, illustrating your answer from this passage of Lysias [pdf].
  5. How and why do writings systems evolve? Answer with reference to Greek and Latin writing systems.
  6. Why is the language of Homer termed a Kunstsprache? How is a Kunstsprache different from a spoken dialect?
  7. Write a linguistic analysis on Iliad 24, 1-13.
  8. Define the terms 'constituency' and 'dependency', discussing the strengths and weaknesses of both methods of syntactic analysis. Use these Herodotean sentences [pdf] to illustrate your answer.
  9. 'Sound Change is regular and exceptionless'; 'Every word has its own history.' How can these two statements be reconciled?