Legal Language and Practice in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Messina: TheEvidence from Greek Private Documents.

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Abstract

This paper concerns twelfth- and thirteenth-century deeds drawn up in Greek in an area where the hellenophone presence was deeply rooted. The Church and Greek monastic institutions continued to exert widespread influence, and the Byzantine cultural tradition was even more persistent. Document analysis supports two interpretive paths from which multilingual phenomena can be singled out and studied. (1) Social interactions. Through these legal transactions social interaction are represented through writing in one of the three official languages of the kingdom, Greek, Latin or Arabic. (2) The language of the documents. Written deeds translate legal procedure into a special language. Laws, formulas and clauses guarantee the validity of both the action and the engraphon which that action demonstrates and warrants. The Greek language in the document, therefore, has its own vocabulary, syntax and rhetoric. Some scholars deem the Greek language of these Southern Italian documents artificial but coarse, whereas others consider it early evidence of the transition from medieval to modern Greek; it was certainly exposed to contacts with and loans from other linguistic sources, but it was also embroidered with erudite and outdated terms, hinting at the consultation of lexicons.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteMultilingual and Multigraphic Documents and Manuscripts of East and West
Pagine55-75
Numero di pagine21
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2018

Serie di pubblicazioni

NomePERSPECTIVES ON LINGUISTICS AND ANCIENT LANGUAGES

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    Rognoni, C. (2018). Legal Language and Practice in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Messina: TheEvidence from Greek Private Documents. In Multilingual and Multigraphic Documents and Manuscripts of East and West (pagg. 55-75). (PERSPECTIVES ON LINGUISTICS AND ANCIENT LANGUAGES).