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Multilingualism, Lingua Franca and Translation in the Early Modern Period


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In the 15th and 16th centuries, the linguistic situation in Europe was one of remarkable fluidity. Latin, the great scholarly lingua franca of the medieval period, was beginning to crack as the tectonic plates shifted beneath it, but the vernaculars had not yet crystallized into the national languages that they would become a century later, and bi- or multilingualism was still rife. Through the influence of print capitalism, the dialects that occupied the informal space were starting to organise into broad fields of communication and exchange (Anderson 2006: 37-46), though the boundaries between them were not yet clearly defined nor the links to territory fully established. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, languages were coming into contact with an intensity that they had never had before (Burke 2004: 111-140), influencing each other and throwing up all manner of hybrids and pidgins as peoples tried to communicate using the semiotic resources they had available. New lingua francas emerged to serve particular purposes in different geographic regions or were imposed through conquest and settlement (Ostler 2005: 323-516). And translation proliferated at the seams of such cultural encounters, undertaken for different reasons by a diverse demographic that included missionaries, scientists, traders, aristocrats, emigrés, refugees and renegades (Burke 2007: 11-16).

This series brings together scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds (cultural history, historical linguistics, palaeography, translation studies, literary studies etc) to offer a broad survey of linguistic practices in the Early Modern period (1400 to 1800).

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Translation and Transposition in the Early Modern Period Knowledge, Literature, Travel

Translation and Transposition in the Early Modern Period: Knowledge, Literature, Travel

1st Edition

Edited By Karen Bennett, Rogério Miguel Puga
December 12, 2023

This volume makes an important contribution to the understanding of translation theory and practice in the Early Modern period, focusing on the translation of knowledge, literature and travel writing, and examining discussions about the role of women and office of interpreter. Over the course of ...

Language Dynamics in the Early Modern Period

Language Dynamics in the Early Modern Period

1st Edition

Edited By Karen Bennett, Angelo Cattaneo
April 26, 2022

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the linguistic situation in Europe was one of remarkable fluidity. Latin, the great scholarly lingua franca of the medieval period, was beginning to crack as the tectonic plates shifted beneath it, but the vernaculars had not yet crystallized into the ...

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