History of the Book Lecture: Tim William Machan

Friday, November 4, 2011

2:00 p.m.

Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
History of the Book Program

Representing Language: The Illustration of Code-Switching in Late-Medieval Manuscripts

Tim William Machan, Marquette University

Medieval England was a multilingual society, with Latin, French, and English existing side-by-side in a variety of commercial, ecclesiastical, and institutional settings. In literary works, code-switching from English into Latin or French (and back again) allowed writers to emphasize the structure of their compositions and to express subtle shifts in style and meaning. In doing so, they and their scribes also employed a variety of textual devices, such as changes in script and ink color, to accompany changes in language. Such interplay of the visual and the linguistic is the subject of this paper.

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