September 8, 2021

Publication, Elizabeth Tyler and Máire Ní Mhaonaigh, "The language of history-writing in the ninth century: an entangled approach"

CML co-director Elizabeth M. Tyler (York) and Máire Ní Mhaonaigh (Cambridge) have recently published the open access article "The language of history-writing in the ninth century: an entangled approach" in the Journal of Medieval History

Abstract 

This article explores the language in which history was written in ninth-century Britain and Ireland, focusing on accounts concerned with origins. It takes an entangled approach to the written vernacular and is concerned with how insular history-writing, whether in a vernacular language or Latin, was an integral part of a wider Latinate European story. Differences in language choice come more clearly into view, facilitating the exploration of the development of vernacular writing and the theory and practice of vernacularisation. The discussion is structured around three case studies, spanning Wales, Ireland and England. What emerges through comparative study is that linguistic theorisation and multilingual interactions both shaped language choice and were themes of the origin legends themselves, whether explicitly or implicitly. The need for vernacular languages, just like Latin, to have sustained institutional support in order to flourish is also underlined.

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