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An Influential Latin Dictionary and Its Etymologies (12th Century CE) in the Linguistic Landscape of Medieval Europe. Hugutio of Pisa’s Derivationes


Loporcaro, Michele (2023). An Influential Latin Dictionary and Its Etymologies (12th Century CE) in the Linguistic Landscape of Medieval Europe. Hugutio of Pisa’s Derivationes. In: Most, Glenn W; Schäfer, Dagmar; Söderblom Saarela, Mårten. Plurilingualism in Traditional Eurasian Scholarship. Thinking in Many Tongues. Leiden: Brill, 212-226.

Abstract

The bestselling dictionary of the late Middle Ages was named after a morphological procedure, “derivations.” It was written by Hugutio (also known as Uguccione) from Pisa, bishop of Ferrara, probably in the 1160s, and its title refers to one of the procedures used in order to explain the origin and meaning of words. In addition, etymological speculation, with the method inherited from Latin Antiquity—from Varro via Isidore of Seville—also has a prominent place in this work, which enjoyed great success. In an epoch when the Romance languages, including Italian, had long ousted Latin in everyday native spoken usage, Hugutio’s book was extensively used and cited as a dictionary, in order to write not only in Latin—still the main language of culture in Western Europe for centuries to come—but also in the vernaculars in the then-incipient Romance vulgar literature; for example, by no less a figure than Dante Alighieri. To us, Hugutio’s Derivations (Derivationes) is valuable as a source both of knowledge of Medieval culture and thought and of information on the Italian lexicon, at a time when written documentation in Italian was still very scarce.

Abstract

The bestselling dictionary of the late Middle Ages was named after a morphological procedure, “derivations.” It was written by Hugutio (also known as Uguccione) from Pisa, bishop of Ferrara, probably in the 1160s, and its title refers to one of the procedures used in order to explain the origin and meaning of words. In addition, etymological speculation, with the method inherited from Latin Antiquity—from Varro via Isidore of Seville—also has a prominent place in this work, which enjoyed great success. In an epoch when the Romance languages, including Italian, had long ousted Latin in everyday native spoken usage, Hugutio’s book was extensively used and cited as a dictionary, in order to write not only in Latin—still the main language of culture in Western Europe for centuries to come—but also in the vernaculars in the then-incipient Romance vulgar literature; for example, by no less a figure than Dante Alighieri. To us, Hugutio’s Derivations (Derivationes) is valuable as a source both of knowledge of Medieval culture and thought and of information on the Italian lexicon, at a time when written documentation in Italian was still very scarce.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Romance Studies
06 Faculty of Arts > Zurich Center for Linguistics
08 Research Priority Programs > Language and Space
Dewey Decimal Classification:800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism
410 Linguistics
440 French & related languages
460 Spanish & Portuguese languages
450 Italian, Romanian & related languages
470 Latin & Italic languages
Language:English
Date:2023
Deposited On:30 Jan 2024 15:57
Last Modified:30 Jan 2024 15:57
Publisher:Brill
ISBN:978-90-04-46466-7
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004527256_019
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)