Voiku, Daniel J.

Primer on the Language Theory of St. Augustine the Literal Level
1997 0-7734-2230-7
This study demonstrates that, of the four levels of interpretation associated with analysis of medieval literature, the literal level is, contrary to accepted opinion, the most sophisticated and difficult for the modern mind to understand. It combines considerations currently taken up under the headings of linguistics, semantics, epistemology, aesthetics, grammar, logic and theology. This study, by a close reading of the works, traces the connections between Augustine's thought and issues in modern composition, linguistics, and language theory, establishing that the basic Christian conception - Augustine's conception - of literacy in the tradition of the liberal arts has been lost to the modern age.