Programme and abstracts

Tuesday, 15th May

10:30–12:15 - Registration, coffee
12:15–12:30 - Welcome remarks and Introducing remarks
12:30-13:30 - Opening keynote
Chair: Pavlína Rychterová
Herbert Schendl: Multilingual texts as reflection of code-switching in medieval England: sermons and beyond

The multilingualism of medieval England, especially that in the Middle English period, has been extensively discussed in English historical linguistics. It is particularly visible in the monolingual texts in the different languages of literacy, i.e. Latin and Old English in the Old English period, and French, Latin and English in the Middle English period, and its traces are most visible in the lexicon, but also in other aspects of the grammar of English. All this has for long been the subject of research in linguistics, literature, and medieval studies, to name but a few.

More recently, the numerous multilingual texts from medieval England have attracted increased attention, not least because they can be seen as important written evidence for code-switching, a well-known discourse strategy in multilingual societies. Multilingual sermons are among the most important text types showing this mixing of languages, and are found from the Old English period on, though they are particularly attested from the later Middle English period.

The present talk will first look at selected features of the main types of multilingual sermons from medieval England, but will also go beyond that and place such sermons in the context of other multilingual texts and text-types of the period. I will show that multilingual sermons are in no way unusual but rather one of several text-types showing this multilingual strategy. The contextualisation of multilingual sermons in the wider context of other multilingual texts from the period will hopefully lead to a better understanding of multilingual sermons from medieval England.


  • Fletcher, A.J. 2009. Late medieval popular preaching in Britain and Ireland. Texts, studies, and interpretations. Turnhout.
  • Kämmerer, C. 2006. Codeswitching in Predigten des 15. Jahrhunderts. Berlin.
  • Schendl, H. 2013. Code-switching in late medieval macaronic sermons. In: J.A. Jefferson and A. Putter (eds.), Multilingualism in medieval Britain (c. 1066-1520): sources and analysis. Turnhout, 153-69.
  • Schendl, H. & L. Wright (eds.). 2011. Code-switching in early English. De Gruyter Mouton, 39-59.
  • Wenzel, S. 1994. Macaronic sermons. Bilingualism and preaching in late-medieval England. Ann Arbor.
13:30-13:45 Coffee break
13:45-15:15 Session 1
Chair: Nike Stam
Alexander Marx: Multilingualism and the preaching of the crusades: Methodological challenges and approaches

When one is dealing with the preaching of the crusades, it is obvious that preachers must have used the vernacular to make their points understandable and to mobilize people for the crusade. Nevertheless, we do not have any vernacular sermons from the period of the later 12 th century (at least, in the sermon collections at which I have looked). All sermons as they have survived in their manuscript form are in Latin. Among them are at least some sermons, which could be classified as “crusade sermons”. As well, there are further sermons, which might have been used for the crusade, given their model character and since they are dealing with crusading topics like Jerusalem. Besides, we do have some contemporary accounts, which report about the challenges that preachers encountered with their lay audiences, and how they made sometimes use of simultaneous translation for getting their point across. This paper shall aim at presenting some of this narrative evidence concerned with preaching and translating as well as some of the basic methodological challenges that one is encountering, when dealing with the preaching of the crusades – a field, where not much research has been done yet. Given the research for my PhD thesis, this paper will focus on the Third Crusade (1187-92) and its preachers, which were mainly Cistercians and some Paris Masters like Peter of Blois, Alan of Lille, or Garnerius of Clairvaux.

Yuichi Akae: ‘Concordantia vocalis’: A Thorny Issue between Composition of Sermons in Latin and their Delivery in the Vernacular

The new sermon form called sermo modernus, born in the first half of the thirteenth century, evolved throughout the century, with added elaborate elements and increasingly normative rhetorical schema. One technique called concordantia vocalis (verbal agreement), concerned with quotation of biblical authority as a proof text, became prominent among learned preachers by the end of the century, and continued to be taught in the fifteenth century in England. The paper analyses different views on the technique in preaching manuals (artes praedicandi) including the one attributed to John of Wales OFM, Sermo concionandi of Thomas Waleys OP, and the Forma praedicandi of Robert of Basevorn, and its uses in sermons recorded in Latin and Middle English. In doing so, it reveals how the rhetorical development of the Latin sermon form in the thirteenth century and the changing ethos of preachers who were trained in it came into conflict with the method for popular preaching in the vernacular in the first half of the fourteenth century, and it highlights how linguistic and cultural issues concerning biblical translation complicated the process between sermon composition in Latin and delivery in the vernacular.


  • Fletcher, Alan J, ‘“Benedictus Qui Venit in Nomine Domini”: A Thirteenth-Century Sermon for Advent and the Macaronic Style in England’, Mediaeval Studies, 56 (1994), 217-45
  • Putter, Ad, and Judith Jefferson eds., Multilingualism in Medieval Britain (c. 1066-1520): Sources and Analysis (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012)
  • Wenzel, Siegfried, Macaronic sermons: Bilingualism and preaching in late-medieval England (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994)
  • Akae, Yuichi, A Mendicant Sermon Collection from Composition to Reception: The ‘Novum opus dominicale’ of John Waldeby, OESA (Turnhout: Brepols, 2015)

15:15-15:45 Long coffee break
15:45-17:15 Session 2
Chair: Jan Odstrčilík
Farkas Kiss: Vernacular glossing and multilingual sermons in late medieval Hungary

Whereas no genuine bi- or multilingual sermon collection survives from the Middle Ages, several manuscripts bear traces of the vernacular interpretive techniques applied to the Latin texts. Although the first sermon collection written entirely in the vernacular survives only from 1527, there exist a few Latin sermon cycles with Hungarian glosses from the 15th century, both manuscript and printed. My lecture will try to provide a typology of the vernacular glossing in Latin sermon collections in the 14th-15th centuries, and draw conclusions about the interaction of the two languages based on the concomitant presence of Latin and Hungarian annotations. What were their strategies when they were rephrasing the vernacular glosses to the sermon collections? What were their preferences in selecting the words and expressions to be glossed during their scribal work? Were they adding the glosses according to their own needs, or were they selecting from a larger pool of earlier annotations? Finally, what kind of conclusions can we draw about the vernacular performance of the sermons, based on these notes?

Luca Baraldi: Kabbalah for all: secret knowledge and linguistic mediation in Mordekhay Dato’s preaching

The phenomenon of multilingual preaching affects the Jewish religious context in a very widespread manner, in the Middle Ages and in the early Modern Age. Joseph Chetrit, in 2007, analyzing the forms of interaction between Hebrew and Berber dialects, distinguished three types of linguistic adaptation: diglossia, hybridization, and intra-linguistic diversity. The history of Mediterranean Judaism, characterized by continuous migrations, strongly influenced the linguistic aspects of the Jewish communities, giving rise to numerous local linguistic systems. The Italian case, which still today counts 32 dialectal groups, according to the Summer Institute of Linguistics, evidently represents an even more complex context, in which the linguistic matrices gave rise to a very wide number of variations and lexical nuances. The case of Hebrew, however, acquires a broader complexity, due to the tradition of sacred semiotics and the character of the Hebrew language, which should be considered as a revealed semiotic system, which means ontologically unhuman. My paper will analyze the example of Mordekhay ben Yehudah Dato, an Italian rabbi, kabbalist and preacher who lived in the 16th century, who decided to make the kabbalah accessible through a process of linguistic mediation, which mixed Italian, local dialect (from the Modena area) and Hebrew. The analysis will consider some passages of the sermons of his Midrash (collection of derashot, sermons) kept at the British Library of London. The work, still unpublished, represents a very important case of linguistic mediation of a theme which was traditionally considered intended for a few elected students.

17:15-17:30 Coffee break
17:30-18:45 Session 3
Chair: Katrin Janz-Wenig
Alessia Francone: Between Latin and German: multilingualism in the sermons of Berthold of Regensburg

The case of Berthold of Regensburg is well-known in the studies about history of preaching, because of his renown as an itinerant preacher and of the consistency of the sermon collections which were transmitted under his name1. These include different sermon groups, some originally composed in Latin by Berthold himself (the so-called Rusticani) and some elaborated by others, in Latin or in German, using and modifying his sermons. The topic of language is consequently important for researchers approaching the Bertholdian corpus, which comprehends texts fully written in Latin, texts fully written in German and texts showing different grades of mixture between Latin and German.

In my paper, I would like to focus on different examples of multilingualism in Berthold’s sermons:

  • Firstly, in the Rusticani and in some of their Latin elaborations (double codex of Fribourg, Couvent des Cordeliers 117 I-II, end of XIII century; Graz, UB 730, beginning of XIV century) we find German words spread through the text, often directly after the same word in Latin.
  • Secondly, in the German texts we find, even if rarely, some Latin expressions.
  • Thirdly, in a particular manuscript (Graz, UB 730), we find, beside Latin sermons with some German words, also sermons in macaronic form2. I would like to concentrate on the case of sermon 7 about the Last Judgement, which can be compared with its source, Rusticanus de dominicis 31.

These forms of multilingualism seems to be connected to the different aims and audiences of each sermon collection; anyway, in particular the macaronic Graz manuscript remains more mysterious and surely deserves a closer attention by the researchers.

1 F. G. Banta, Berthold von Regensburg, in Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters. Verfasserlexikon, ed. K. Ruh (Berlin-New York, 1978), I, 817-23; H.-J. Schiewer, German sermons in the Middle Ages, in The sermon, ed. B. Mayne Kienzle, Typologie des sources du Moyen Âge occidental 81-83 (Turnhout, 2000), 868-69, 873, 900-1; J. B. Schneyer, Repertorium der lateinischen Sermones des Mittelalters für die Zeit 1150-1350 (Münster, 1969), I, 472-504; K. Morvay, D. Grube, Bibliographie der deutschen Predigt des Mittelalters. Veröffentlichte Predigten, ed. K. Ruh, Münchener Texte und Untersuchungen zur deutschen Literatur des Mittelalters 47 (München, 1974), 37-44.

2 A. E. Schönbach, Über eine Grazer Handschrift lateinisch-deutscher Predigten, Graz 1890.

Dorota Masłej: ‘The Augustinians’ sermons’ – between the Latin and the Polish language

The manuscript called The Augustinians’ sermons, written probably about the middle of the 15th century, is in fact just a small fragment of a bigger collection of Latin sermons kept in the Jagiellonian Library in Krakow (shelf number Akc. 110/56). One of the sermons consists of two layers: the Latin main (principal) text and numerous Polish and Latin glosses in the margins and between the lines which emerge as an interlinear version of the Latin text. Interesting observations follow from a comparative linguistic analysis of these two layers.

The relationships between two languages (Latin and Polish) are manifold in this manuscript: the researcher has both the principal Latin text and the bilingual effect of its translation. The aim of the paper is to analise the bilingual (Polish-Latin) sermon in the context of the Latin source (especially on the syntactical level), to compare the extent of the use of the Latin and Polish language and to answer the question about a possible puropse (intended use) of this text.

Wednesday, 16th May

09:30-10:30 Keynote
Chair: Gwendolyne Knight
Tom ter Horst: Typology and spectrum of Latin-Irish and Latin-English codeswitches in medieval sermon literature

Although Ireland had been in contact with Latin since its christianisation in the sixth century, the full extent of Latin-Irish bilingualism is embodied in a number of manuscripts dated to about 1400. This date coincides with the publication of Latin-English sermon literature, attesting to extensive codeswitching in both connected regions. A consideration of the structural elements of homiletic texts from both islands enables us to identify commonalities within the underlying grammar of codeswitching. Such a grammatical approach is greatly aided by theory on modern codeswitching, especially the typological model developed by Muysken. This model is applied to two syntactic structures which seem notoriously ambiguous in terms of language choice, subjects and objects. From an analysis of Latin-Irish and Latin-English corpora, it transpires that a categorical approach can indeed contribute to the study of codeswitching, although it is more useful to look at language use through description than prescription. Part of the reason for this choice is that codeswitching is only one of the alternatives available to users who combined two languages. This convergence is exemplified by the triggering function of diamorphs, words which could belong to either of two codes (or to both). Another part of being bilingual is the possibility of free variation, where two instances of the same medieval text may well convey a completely different pattern of codeswitch constructions.

10:30-10:45 Coffee break
10:45-12:15 Session 4
Chair: Cinzia Grifoni
Tomasz Mika: A relic of the Polish literature. Bilingualism in ‘Kazania świętokrzyskie' (the Holy Cross Sermons)

The Holy Cross Sermons were written probably about the middle of the 14th century. It can be assumed that they are a copy of a previous original text from the beginning of the 14th or even the end of the 13th century. It is a very destroyed copy: a medieval bookbinder had cut the parchment pages on which the sermons were written into strips and used them to strengthen the codex containing St. Jerome’s "Praxapostolus".

The Holy Cross Sermons are believed to be the oldest and most valuable relic of Polish sermon literature but in fact it is a bilingual text (Latin-Polish text). Interesting is that both languages have different roles and functions in this collection. The Polish parts have clear linguistic-rhetoric structure (according to the medieval ars praedictandi), also the rhetorical framework is written in Polish. In contrary, Latin is the auxiliary language, serving mainly accumulation of preaching material. The writer attempts to use the Latin composition of the sermon to build a Polish text.

Moreover the Sermons are an example of the text where the oral and written cultures meet. It is an ‘open’ text prepared for oral delivering, which might have been addressed to a different audience, who even did not have to know Latin. The aim of the paper is to characterise functions and roles of both languages in this manuscript.

Gwendolyne Knight: Irish-Latin Bilingualism in the Cambrai Homily

The Cambrai Homily (Cambrai, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 679 [s. viii2] ff. 37rb–38rb) is a short prose homily found between two chapters of the Collectio canonum Hibernensis; as the homily is incomplete, it has been suggested that it was copied from a stray leaf inserted into the exemplar of the Collectio. The Homily itself is estimated to date to the seventh or first half of the eighth century. More salient for the purpose of this workshop, however, is the fact that the homily is written in Latin and Old Irish intermixed; indeed, some claim that this text provides us with the earliest record of continuous Irish prose. As such it has long been an important source for early Irish linguistic evidence, as well as evidence for sermons in the seventh-century Irish Church. Nevertheless, the aspects of bilingualism and linguistic interaction between Old Irish and Latin remain underexplored. This paper will explore different methodologies, such as code-switching and sociolinguistics, and their respective applicability to a text such as the Cambrai Homily. Central questions for this paper will be: How are we to understand the bilingual nature of this text? What can this text tell us about bilingualism in early Christian Ireland?

12:15-13:45 Lunch
13:45-15:15 Session 5
Chair: Helena Halmari
Jan Odstrčilík: “Beati čistí srdcem, quia ipsi deum viděti budú.” Czech-Latin Code-Switching in the Wilhering sermons

The so-called Wilhering sermons offer a rare opportunity. They are not only an important witness of Czech-Latin bilingualism but also their origin is slightly less obscure than usual. The three sermons preserved in the Cod. IX 122 of the Cistercian monastery in Wilhering are clear adaptations of the sermons written by Jan Hus in his famous vernacular work “Czech Sunday Postil” (finished in 1414). This allows us to observe the changes in the text much closer than it would be possible without knowing their model. Moreover, the same sermon collection was also translated into Latin with occasional Czech glosses and insertions. As a result, we can compare two various bilingual versions made from one source and compare the differences among them.

This paper will be sort of a follow-up to the presentation from The Medieval Translator Conference 2017 and it will focus mainly on the following topics:

  • Problems of the current edition of Wilhering sermons and the challenges we face when editing a multilingual text
  • Comparison of the Wilhering sermons to their model in the contents and form
  • Comparison of the Wilhering sermons to the Latin translation of the Czech Sunday Postil
  • Possible motivations for the code-switching (written vs. spoken bilingualism)

Matylda Włodarczyk, Joanna Kopaczyk and Elżbieta Adamczyk: Crossing the language and discourse boundaries in the Electronic Repository of Greater Poland Oaths 1386-1444 (ROThA) Project webpage

This paper aims to showcase the Electronic Repository of Greater Poland Oaths 1386-1444 (ROThA), a corpus (currently under compilation) based on the oldest extant collection of secular texts from medieval Poland. The main aim of the digitisation project of the Kowalewicz and Kuraszkiewicz edition of the records of land courts (1959-81) has been to emphasise the profoundly multilingual nature of scribal practices in the administrative domain at the time. In this paper, the focus is placed on the visual aspects of code-switching (CS) in accord with the view of handwritten texts as communicative objects and visual pragmatics (Machan 2011; Carrol et al. 2013). Visual cues, such as space management, type size, ink colours, etc. involve meaning-making strategies and may be related to the semantics of elements found on language and discourse boundary. Such features fall within the phenomenon of flagging and are investigated in three datasets from three locations comprising over 2,000 individual oaths. In the analysed data, flagging occurs at multiple levels of language (semantics), discourse organisation and visual cues.

Starting from the discourse and visual scheme of a typical oath, our analysis looks into the interplay between genre-related functional divisions of the texts and CS-marking devices, and uncovers some regional and individual patterns and constraints. The findings show that CS marking was only partially conventionalised and subject to change over time. We also place the analysis of a specific code-switching phenomenon which we have called the trigger within a general framework of code-switching and the hierarchy of structural linguistic levels on which the switches take place (Kopaczyk 2017).


  • Carrol, Ruth, Matti Peikola, Hanna Salmi, Mari-Lisa Varila, Janne Skaffari & Risto Hiltunen. 2013. Pragmatics on the Page. Visual text in late medieval English books. European Journal of English Studies 17.1. 54–71.
  • Kopaczyk, Joanna. 2017. Administrative multilingualism on the page in early modern Poland: In search of a framework for written code-switching, in L. Wright et al. (eds.) Multilingual Practices in Language History: New Perspectives. Berlin: Mouton. 275-298.
  • Kowalewicz, Henryk & Władysław Kuraszkiewicz (eds.). 1959–1981. Wielkopolskie roty sądowe XIV–XV wieku [The Greater Poland court oaths of the 14th-15th century]. Warszawa, Poznań, Wrocław, Kraków & Gdańsk: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe.
  • Machan, Tim William. 2011. The visual pragmatics of code-switching in late Middle English literature. In Herbert Schendl & Laura Wright (eds.), Code-switching in Early English, 303–333. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Pahta, Päivi. 2012. Code-switching in English of the Middle Ages. In The Oxford Handbook of the History of English, ed. by Terttu Nevalainen and Elizabeth C. Traugott, 528-537. New York: Oxford University Press.

15:15-15:45 Long coffee break
15:45-17:15 Session 6
Chair: Herbert Schendl
Helena Halmari: Language Mixing as a Persuasive Strategy in Oxford, MS Bodley 649 Personal webpage

Oxford, MS Bodley 649 is an early fifteenth-century sermon collection that is famous for its macaronic structure. The predominantly Latin sermons incorporate words, phrases, and clauses from English, in a pattern that seems enigmatic. Pre-eminent experts on these macaronic sermons have deemed this mixing as random (Wenzel 1994). In this paper, I start from the premise that switching to English in Bodley 649 does not have (and does not need to have) an all-encompassing explanation; however, it seems to serve as an effective rhetorical device that the sermon author uses to move his bilingual audience. The following examples illustrate how codeswitching coincides with other rhetorical strategies: lexical repetition (1), alliteration (2), and structural parallelism (3):

  • (1) Non mouerent dubia de fide, climbe non alcius quam eorum sensus possit attingere, set credere docentur […]. Set iam, quod dolendum est, […] animalia terrestria han clymbe vp on hy. […] Sicut quidam dicunt laici and a clymbin al to hye. (Horner 2006, 79)
  • (2) Si fueris a lecchour sequens delectaciones corporis, colis falsam deam, Þe ladi of lust; eius mammona in tua anima est fetens hircus luxurie. (Horner 2006: 225)
  • (3) […] prima turris est misericordia tui et ista turris est tibi nedful; secunda turris est misericordia pauperis et ista turris est tibi spedeful; tercia turris est misericordia tui hostis et hec tibi est mydful. (Horner 2006, 59)
  • Examples of the switches to English will be analyzed in order to provide evidence that the preacher’s use of codeswitching enhances the cohesion and persuasive nature of his sermons (cf. Johnson 2012: xvi). Even though codeswitching itself is not necessarily persuasive, both the structure and the content of the switches in Bodley 649 add to the persuasive effect of this already hortative genre.


    • Horner, Patrick J. 2006. A Macaronic Sermon Collection from Late Medieval England: Oxford MS Bodley 649. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.
    • Johnson, Holly. 2012. The Grammar of Good Friday: Macaronic Sermons of Late Medieval England. Turnhout: Brepols.
    • Wenzel, Siegfried. 1994. Macaronic Sermons: Bilingualism and Preaching in Late-Medieval England. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Mareike Keller: Language mixing patterns in MS Bodley 649: Clues to authors and text genesis

This contribution addresses language mixing in a collection of macaronic sermons from 14th/15 th -century England (MS Bodley 649) from the perspective of modern code-switching research. I will argue that the systematic application of the Matrix Language Frame Model (MLF model, Myers-Scotton 2002) to historical mixed texts sheds light on details of the linguistic background of the writers and on the situation in which the sermons were recorded. The distribution of Middle English and Latin in MS Bodley 649 does not appear to be grounded in pragmatic considerations. Instead, the sermons show alternation and insertion patterns strikingly similar to those reported in systematic accounts of modern oral code-switching as performed by balanced bilinguals in situations where neither of the two languages is stronger or more prestigious. However, throughout the text specific morphological peculiarities regarding Latin case marking can be found which do not match the predictions of the MLF model. I suggest that the characteristic use of Latin in the sermons can be interpreted as a consequence of normative understanding of language. In this context, we will discuss the extent to which Latin case markers in historical texts are a product of premeditated writing rather than direct reflections of oral language use. In conclusion, I propose that by identifying the structural characteristics that appear consistently across time and language pairs, we can create a template which can be used as a framework for the classification and interpretation of mixed historical texts, especially for those cases where information about the authors and genesis of a text is no longer available.

  • Auer, Peter & Raihan Muhamedova. 2005. ‘Embedded language’ and ‘matrix language’ in insertional language mixing: Some problematic cases. Italian Journal of Linguistics, 17(1), 35–54.
  • Fletcher, Alan J. 2013. Written versus spoken macaronic discourse in late medieval England: The view from the pulpit. In Multilingualism in medieval Britain (c. 1066–1520): Sources and analysis, edited by Judith A. Jefferson and Ad Putter, 137–51. Turnhout: Brepols.
  • Halmari, Helena & Timothy Regetz. 2011. Syntactic aspects of code-switching in Oxford, MS Bodley 649. In Code- Switching in Early English, edited by Herbert Schendl and Laura Wright, 115-33. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Horner, Patrick. 2006. A macaronic sermon collection from late medieval England. Toronto: PIMS.
  • Keller, Mareike. 2017. Code-switched adjectives in macaronic sermons. In Studies in Language Variation and Change 2: Shifts and Turns in the History of English, edited by Catherine Delesse and Elise Louviot, 197- 216. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Myers-Scotton, Carol. 2002. Contact linguistics: Bilingual encounters and grammatical outcomes. Oxford: OUP.
  • Myers-Scotton, Carol & Janice Jake. 2017. Revisiting the 4-M-Model: Codeswitching and morpheme election at the abstract level. International Journal of Bilingualism 21: 340-366.
  • Schendl, Herbert. 2013. Code-Switching in Late Medieval Macaronic Sermons. In Multilingualism in medieval England (c. 1066-1520): Sources and analysis, edited by Judith A. Jefferson & Ad Putter, 153-167. Turnhout: Brepols.
  • Wenzel, Siegfried. 1994. Macaronic sermons: bilingualism and preaching in late-medieval England. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
17:15-17:30 Coffee break
17:30-18:30 Keynote
Chair: Šime Demo
Nike Stam: ‘Dixit Comgall’: On formulae, names and encoding the versatility of Latin-Irish code-switching

Once we decide to look at bilingual, medieval sources from the perspective of code-switching, we gain both new insights and new problems. In this paper, I will show how the versatility of code-switching in a medieval Irish commentary text may present problems to the researcher in terms of encoding and categorisation. This versatility is not only expressed in the different forms that code-switching takes, like names, formulae and visual diamorphs, but also in the history of transmission of the bilingual text, in which code-switching may have been expanded, altered, or deleted altogether. By combining several theories from code-switching research with ideas from palaeography and philology, I will expound on the ways in which I have attempted to tackle these issues in my recent PhD thesis (2017).

Thursday, 17th May

09:30-10:30 Keynote
Chair: Tom ter Horst
Šime Demo: Neo-Latin macaronic literature, a bizarre cousin of medieval multilingual sermons

One of the main obsessions of Renaissance humanist scholars was a linguistic reform of Latin – they considered technical Latin of the Middle Ages inappropriate for the new context and did their best to adjust their language to the usage of the classical Latin authors. On the other hand, the same period witnessed an intense advance in the use of modern languages, which began to replace Latin in an increasing range of the domains of use.

This period of sociolinguistic transition gave rise to many multilingual phenomena, one of which is Neo-Latin macaronic literature. Structurally, it is characterised by an unusually large number of words consisting of a vernacular content morpheme and a Latin grammatical morpheme. It emerged in Northern Italy in the final decades of the 15th century within a literary anti-genre, parodying both classical poetic texts and current substandard varieties of Latin. It soon spread across Europe and lasted until the late 20th century.

The research has shown that the activity of multilingual preachers in the high Renaissance is one of the most important among several sources of Neo-Latin macaronic literature. Therefore, in the first part of the presentation we will take a look at the origin and development of Neo-Latin macaronic literature, laying particular emphasis on its relationship to medieval ecclesiastical linguistic practices. In the second part we will see how digital technology and statistical methods can enable us to single out individual patterns in the strategies of Neo-Latin macaronic language mixing. Several examples of corpus-based analysis will show us how linguistic properties of macaronic Latin conform to the structure of the languages involved in mixing with Latin, both in the distribution of partner languages, as well as in specific morphological choices.

10:30-10:45 Coffee break
10:45-12:15 Session 7
Chair: Oriol Catalán
Beata Spieralska: Maurice de Sully and Bernard of Clairvaux: two cases of translation into vernacular

In the 13th century, in France there were two works of preaching featured both in Latin and in vernacular. The first one consisted of two collections of the sermons by Bernard of Clairvaux, addressed to the clergy: Sermones in cantica and Sermones per annum. The other – the collection of model sermons by Maurice de Sully, bishop of Paris, addressed to the lay people. The case of Bernard’s sermons seems rather clear: they have been composed in Latin and then translated, in a very literal way, into Old French. The question arises, of course, why translate into vernacular the sermons written for monks? Does it mean that someone wanted them to be accessible also for laymen? Or that monks may have had some difficulties in understanding Latin sermons? But this issue put apart, the relationship between the original text and its translation is quite clear. For this reason the case of Bernard’s sermons can be used as a yardstick against which we can measure the translation of Maurice’s sermons. Their French version, in fact, is more an adaptation than a translation. And the relationship between both texts, Latin and vernacular, is unclear. So much, that some scholars of old considered the French version as the original one. In my paper I would like to examine further the specificity of the French sermons by Maurice de Sully and their relation to the Latin text.

Lidia Negoi: Of Glosses, Translations and Other Linguistic Demons: Editorial Bilingualism in Dominican Sermons from Catalonia (XIV)

This paper proposes to discuss the phenomenon of bilingualism in medieval sermons produced in a much neglected and understudied area of sermon studies – fourteenth–century Catalonia and Aragon. Until very recently, scholars working on medieval Iberia have devoted their attention mostly to sermons in the vernacular because they are thought to have been an expression and reliable evidence of ‘popular’ preaching and orality. Such neglect, connected to the historiographical bias that favours ‘national’ languages, has led to very little interest in medieval sermons preserved in Latin. A vast amount of evidence still awaits further investigation. Hence, the developments of the written vernaculars (e.g., Catalan) in relation with written Latin remains an underexplored topic in medieval sermons studies of Catalonia and Aragon.

The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, it addresses bilingualism and code-switching in sermons from medieval Catalonia by analyzing texts in which Latin is the matrix language, the most common type of sermon preserved from the area under review. Similar to areas better studied, such as France, England, or Italy, the linguistic intermingling in fourteenth-century sermons from Catalonia covers all types of ‘macaronicity’, as categorised by Siegfried Wenzel. Furthermore (and secondly), I will focus on Dominican sermons from the Aragonia Province (which included Catalonia and Aragon) and place them within the educational context in which sermons originated: the mendicant studia. By giving examples of ‘edited’ sermon collections as well as those for personal use of preachers, I argue that bilingual sermons have a lot to do with an editorial strategy acquired in school in addition to a larger context of control over authoritative discourse and, ultimately, the standardization of written theology in the vernacular. Thus, the paper will add to current debates that seek to understand medieval bilingualism (written and spoken) as an European-wide phenomenon.

12:15-13:45 Lunch
13:45-15:15 Session 8
Chair: Farkas Kiss
Oriol Catalán: The multilingual sermons by Felip de Malla and their context

To the bilingual sermons of the Catalan linguistic area recently studied, among others, by Catalán and Negoi, we should add the sermons by Felip de Malla, a priest, canon, preacher and ambassador, well-known as one of the introducers of the Renaissance in Catalan literature. His religious sermons, however, have been little studied. The ms. 466 at Biblioteca de Catalunya preserves 20 sermons by Felip de Malla, some of them bilingual (Latin-Catalan) and related to the author's best-known work, the Memorial del Pecador Remut (Memories of the forgiven sinner). The use of the vulgar, in this case Catalan, is not limited to the divisions of the sermon, to the subdivisions or to some loose word, but actually alternates with Latin in the discourse, the narrations and the dialogues, in a similar way to other sermons of the same period. The presence of narration, dialogue and Romance language connects these sermons with the birth of religious theater.

The analysis of Felip de Malla's sermons and the comparison with other Catalan bilingual sermons of the time, allow to expand the point of view on preaching in Catalonia at the beginning of the 15th century, trying to explain the emergence of multilingual sermons by political and social causes.

Katrin Janz-Wenig: The sermons on Passion of Christ by Simon de Ruckersburg. An example of a late medieval bilingual text

Simon de Ruckersburg († 1417) is best known for his German translation of pope Gregory’s Moralia in Iob, which is related to the so called Vienna School, famous for producing translations of pastoral literature. However, some Latin sermons by Simon have been preserved too. He presumably wrote them for his own use as one of the eight preachers for pastoral care at the Viennese cathedral of St. Stephen.

This paper focuses on his four sermons on the Passion of Christ, delivered at the Vienna cathedral in 1413. These texts present a Passion harmony with additional exegesis explanations. In some passages we can find Latin Leonine verses alternating with German paired couplets. These passages are marked with the word figure. I was able to trace the Latin verses back to the Concordantiae Caritatis. This heavily illustrated typological book by Ulrich of Lilienfeld was an aid for preachers preparing their sermons. In the Austrian region it was widely spread. Furthermore we have notice that around the year 1413 the Concordantiae Caritatis were copied by another one of the eight preachers of St. Stephen.

In preparation of a critical and annotated edition of these four sermons I will discuss my on-going research. Presenting this extremely rare example of textual references in Latin sermons to contemporary illustrations I will focus on, firstly, the mixture of languages, secondly the meaning and effect of prosimetrum, and thirdly, the combination of text and illustration.

15:15-15:30 Coffee break
15:30-17:00 Concluding remarks and future plans