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date: 12 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Dante Alighieri propagated the use of the vernacular in his De vulgari eloquentia (ca. 1300). More than one hundred years later, Leon Battista Alberti declared the definite demise of Latin, but afterwards resorted to the classical language when publishing his Momus sive de principe. Later authors, such as Erycius Puteanus, Martin Opitz, Bohuslav Balbín, and Jacob Grimm, all published defenses of the vernacular, yet all paradoxically did this in Latin. The discussion about which language to choose—Latin or the vernacular?—was prominent during the half-millennium between Dante and Grimm. The “battle of languages” also exercised its effect on the books and other material printed during this period. This chapter focuses as well on some eloquent ambassadors of this polyglot world; namely, multilingual and mixed-language publications offering Latin in combination with one or more vernaculars.

Keywords: Latin, Neo-Latin, vernacular languages, polyglossia, multilingualism

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