Friday, February 08, 2008

(Not even close to) Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about ... Sicilian ... Neapolitan

Thanks to Pat for having me sent the link - I am adding a first part and the link to the original article here, so that whoever reads this blog can find them.
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(Not even close to) Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Sicilian School, the ritmo cassinese, and the beginnings of vernacular literature in Italy, including Neapolitan.


Between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and about the year 1000, there existed in Europe a kind of “universal Catholic culture” (a phrase used by a number of sources); it was sustained by the official and scholarly use of Latin, even in the face of vernacular (meaning “of the people”) languages which were developing throughout the territories of the former Empire. These vernacular tongues would one day be known as Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, etc.—i.e., the large family of modern “Romance” languages. It is not surprising that residual Latin should have remained strongest in Italy, at the center of the empire, even as that empire disintegrated. Even the Lombards, the “barbarian” invaders who had invaded Italy many centuries earlier (569 b.c.) quickly absorbed both the religion (Christianity) and the language (Latin) of the territory they had subjugated. Thus, in Italy, the appearance of literature recognizable as early Italian comes about a century later than similar literature in early French or early Spanish (here, using for comparison the years 1150-1200, when both La Chanson de Roland for French and El Cantar de Mio Cid for Spanish appeared).

Read the complete article
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Copyright: Jeff Matthews
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