THE ADJECTIVE LIBER AND ITS' DERIVATIVES IN PLAUTUS' WORD PLAYS

Elena Dzukeska

Abstract


The adjective līber, „free, released, loose, unoccupied“ from the Indoeuropean root *H1leudh-, „grow“ and its derivatives lībertas, „freedom“, lībertus and lībertīnus, „freedman“, lībero, „free“, līberālis, „free, noble, generous“, līberī, „children“, Līber, „Liber, Liberator“ play significant role in creating wordplays in the works of the Ro-man comediographer Plautus. The analysis of the examples shows that these words on one hand were used by Plautus for creation of funny situations of misunderstanding, ba-sed on their polysemy. On the other hand Plautus puts them in a context with other words, that are not etymologically related, by sound similarly. This second type of wordplays is important testimony for the semantical development of the adjective līber and its derivatives in Old Latin, but also for an additional analysis of the understanding of the term „freedom“ by Latins.

Keywords: LIBER, PLAUTUS, WORDPLAY


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