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English Literature and Ancient Languages$
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Kenneth Haynes

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199212125

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212125.001.0001

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Multilingualism in Literature

Multilingualism in Literature

(p.1) Chapter One Multilingualism in Literature
English Literature and Ancient Languages


Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on multilingualism. It proves that all languages make use of loanwords. It explains that multilingualism may be the result of adventure, marriage, trade, curiosity, proselytising, education, colonialism, the desire for social status, political power or economic development, or having been born into an environment where many languages are spoken. The chapter presents several literary examples wherein multilingualism has served as a model for most writers, especially during and after the Renaissance period. It discusses how Latin became the ‘language of greatest moment’ in Western and Central Europe and how the living tradition of Latin came to an end in the 19th century. It also shows the value of Greek in the English language.

Keywords:   multilingualism, bilingualism, monoglot, Latin, Greek, English, loanwords, Renaissance, neo-Latin

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