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Translation into the Sermo Maternus: The View of Giannozzo Manetti (1396–1459)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims to interpret the passage of Manetti's writings in the context of the questione della lingua. Through a comparison of this and other passages from Manetti's writings, with the views of some of the key-figures in the debate, Manetti's linguistic views will be reconstructed. The chapter investigates how these views apply to translation into a vernacular. The Italian language debate arose when medieval theories of language clashed with new humanistic views. Manetti's reference to vernacular and literary languages in Apologeticus V is reminiscent of the medieval conceptions of language appropriated by Bruni. The Manetti considered Latin and the volgare as essentially different is also visible in the opposite case: translation from the vernacular into Latin. Manetti was the first to apply the humanistic ideal of rhetorical translation to the 'serious' genres of Scripture, theology and philosophy, and in this respect he was undeniably progressive.

Keywords: Italian language; literary languages; Manetti's writings; rhetorical translation; vernacular language

10.1163/9789004280182_009
/content/books/b9789004280182_009
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