Camilla Horster

PhD, Assistant Professor

Camilla Plesner Horster
See relations at Aarhus University

Danish neo-Latin: tradition and adaptation reflected in a language

Postdoc grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research | Humanities

In the 16th century, Latin was the predominant written language in Denmark. The language of Danish literature was the Latin variant called “neo-Latin,” developed in Italy by Renaissance humanists in imitation of the classical Latin of Antiquity. Recent research has shown that Danish neo-Latin literature was heavily influenced by the geographically closer German neo-Latin tradition, a relationship of exceptional importance in the century of the Reformation. My thesis is that Danish neo-Latin even in its linguistic properties will show traces of its journey and reflect its origin in the Italian cultural initiative as well as its adaptation to other regions: that it has become a neo-Latin dialect that can tell a story of linguistic and cultural development, and thus an important part of our social and political history. The method for detecting such traces in the language will be comparative quantitative studies of corpora that contain neo-Latin texts written in Italy, in Germany, and in Denmark.

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