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Title: Dante and the Name of the Vernacular: On "De Vulgari Eloquentia" and 'Vulgare Latium'
Authors: Placidi, Andrea
Advisors: Barkan, Leonard
Contributors: Comparative Literature Department
Subjects: Italian literature
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation, titled Dante and the name of the vernacular: on "De Vulgari Eloquentia" and ‘Vulgare Latium’, studies how the meaning of the word ‘vernacular’ changed from the medieval to the early modern period by focusing on the text of Dante’s "De vulgari eloquentia" and the history of its reception, especially in the culture of the Renaissance. It begins by providing a definition of the ‘vernacular’ according to the text of "De vulgari eloquentia" and dwells at length on Dante’s terminology, which is varied, rich, and problematic: from ‘vulgare’ and ‘locutio’, to ‘lingua’, ‘loquela’, ‘ydioma’, and ‘sermo’. The dissertation then turns to how "De vulgari eloquentia" was read by the humanists and how the rediscovery of the text in the first quarter of the sixteenth century acted as a catalyst for the emergence of new identities for the ‘vernacular’ in the Renaissance: among these are the ‘lingua toscana’, the ‘lingua cortigiana’, and the ‘lingua italiana’. The new identities of the ‘vernacular’ that emerged in the Renaissance helped shape the interpretation of the earliest vernacular texts written in Italy in the medieval period, i.e. the lyrics of the poets of the ‘Sicilian School’. In regards to the texts of this latter tradition, I depart from the dominant theory of ‘toscaneggiamento’ or ‘toscanizzazione’ and look at ways that can justify the peculiar linguistic traits of their manuscript tradition without dismissing the extant lyrics as rewritings and translations.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Comparative Literature

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