Book Series Late Medieval and Early Modern Studies, vol. 30

Languages and Cross-Cultural Exchanges in Renaissance Italy

Alessandra Petrocchi, Joshua Brown (eds)

  • Pages: 433 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:6 b/w, 8 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2023

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60181-6
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60182-3
  • E-book
  • Available

Provides the first-ever comprehensive account of languages in contact, cultural encounters, and systems of knowledge in Renaissance Italy, bringing together a wide range of approaches and theoretical perspectives.


Dr Alessandra Petrocchi is a philologist, linguist and literary scholar, and currently a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow in the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics at the University of Oxford. She has published extensively on a wide range of topics, including historical linguistics and East/West cultural and literary exchanges. Alessandra’s work is marked by cross-linguistic studies, and interdisciplinarity.

Dr Josh Brown is Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies and Chair of Modern European Languages at The University of Western Australia. He has published widely on historical Italian, language contact and cultural exchange, as well as concepts of koineization and standardisation in the linguistic history of Italy.


Although much work has been done in the field of Renaissance Studies, at present there is no book which offers a comparative overview of the linguistic interaction between Renaissance Italy and the wider world. The present volume is intended to fill this void, representing the first-ever collection of essays that deal with multiple types of language contact and cross-cultural exchanges in and with respect to Renaissance Italy (1300‒1600). We bring diverse disciplinary perspectives together: literary scholars, historians, and linguists with different regional expertise; we argue for multilingualism and language contact as products of a period of dynamic change which cannot be fully grasped through a single framework. The contributions present a variety of case-studies by often cross-fertilising their approaches with other disciplinary lenses. This book aims to provide a comprehensive picture of a truly global Renaissance Italy where languages, textual traditions, and systems of knowledge from different geographical areas either combined or clashed. It takes a fresh approach to the history of late medieval and early modern Italy by focusing on East/West linguistic and cultural encounters, transmission of ideas and texts, multilingualism in literature (various genres and various forms of multilingualism), translation practices, reception/adaptation of new knowledge, transculturalism and literary exchanges, and the relationship between languages and language varieties.


Languages and Cross-Cultural Exchanges in Renaissance Italy — ALESSANDRA PETROCCHI and JOSHUA BROWN

Multilingual Printing — BRIAN RICHARDSON

Communicating in Different Vernaculars: Italo-Romance Intercomprehension in Historical Perspective — ALESSANDRO CARLUCCI

Untraced Polymorphy and Vernaculars in Contact in Renaissance Italy — JOSHUA BROWN

Medieval and Renaissance Venice: Language Contact at Home and Abroad — RONNIE FERGUSON

Latin, Sicilian, and the Adoption of Italian in Malta — JOSEPH M. BRINCAT

Trusting Vernacular Languages in the Italian Renaissance — ANDREA RIZZI

Language Contact between French and Italian in the Sixteenth Century: Evidence from the Diplomatic Letters of Georges dArmagnac — JENELLE THOMAS

The Impact of Aragonese and Castilian Dominations on the Language and Literature of Sardinia — IMMACOLATA PINTO

Libri alienigeni: Evidence of Anglo-Italian Language Contact from the Fifteenth-Century Port of Southampton — MEGAN TIDDEMAN

The Influence of French on Sixteenth-Century Italian — THOMAS SCHARINGER

Ethiopia and Ethiopian Languages in Renaissance Italy — SAMANTHA KELLY

Ascanio Persio and the Greekness of Italian — HAN LAMERS

Hebrew Literature in Italy (1300–1600) — FABRIZIO LELLI

Language Contacts and Contact Languages in Renaissance Naples: From the moresche to Lo cunto de li cunti — CAROLINA STROMBOLI