By Anja Voeste, Susan Baddeley

This quantity offers, for the 1st time, a pan-European view of the improvement of written languages at a key time of their heritage: that of the sixteenth century. the most important cultural and highbrow upheavals that affected Europe on the time - Humanism, the Reformation and the emergence of recent geographical regions - weren't remoted phenomena, and the evolution of the orthographical platforms of eu languages exhibits a great number of convergences, as a result mobility of students, principles and technological suggestions in the course of the interval.

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Extra resources for Orthographies in Early Modern Europe

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38 Elena Llamas Pombo a) “We should write as we pronounce” As a good humanist, Nebrija based his spelling on an ancient authority, that of Quintilian, who had stated the suitability of adapting the number of letters to the sounds in Latin. As an heir to the principles of the Hispano-Roman rhetorician, Nebrija affirmed in 1492 that “We should write as we pronounce and pronounce as we write, because if not, the letters were invented in vain” (Nebrija 1492: 18). These ideas on writing correspond to a general ideal of simplicity, to a whole aesthetics of language that was developed in the 16th century, inspired by Italian humanism.

31 In the first place, it can be seen that “both writers have, as was to be expected, a great lack of spelling uniformity in the forms they use, to wit: ahora, ora (Saint Teresa), agora, ahora (F. Luis); asi, ansi (Teresa), ansi, assi (F. ” (García Macho and Pascual 1990: 130, note 8). Fray Luis de León’s idea was to reproduce Saint Teresa’s texts just as she wrote them; nevertheless, there are many discrepancies between the author’s usage and that of her editor. Fray Luis had no scruples in taking to the printer spelling uses which were different from those of the saint.

Morreale reminds us that variatio, as a word figure and as a sentence figure, is a subdivision of the repetitio in Western rhetoric. 14 In a study such as Morreale’s on a 13th-century Bible, in which morphological, syntactic, phonetic and spelling variations are considered conjointly, the latter acquire sense within a general stylistic adornment understood as variatio. When the translator wrote without distinction: assyrios or assirios, conplido or complido, Egipto or Egypto, espírito or spírito, fui or fuy, onrra or onra, sábbado or sábados, santo or sancto, sesenta or sessenta, Syón or Sión, Tophet or Thophet, uessos or huessos, he was applying to spelling the same aesthetic principle of variation that he applied in the vocabulary (offering synonyms) or in the syntax (varying the word order in symmetrical structures).

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