Author: Tim Denecker
In Ideas on Language in Early Latin Christianity, Tim Denecker investigates, in a comprehensive and systematic way, the views held on the history, diversity and properties of language(s) by Christian Latin authors from Tertullian (b. c.160) to Isidore of Seville (d. 636). This historical period witnessed various sociocultural changes, affecting linguistic situations and the ways in which these were perceived. Christian intellectuals were confronted with languages other than Latin in the context of the propagation of faith, and in reflecting on language were bound to comply with the relevant biblical accounts. Whereas previous research has mostly focused on the (indeed vital) contribution of Augustine, the present study reveals the diversified and dynamic nature of linguistic reflection in early Latin Christianity.
Author: Tim Denecker

Jerome of Stridon and Sidonius Apollinaris, two authors particularly sensitive to languages and linguistic differences, frequently evaluate the correctness, adequacy, and aesthetic qualities of ‘classical’ Latin on the one hand, and of ‘foreign’ or ‘barbarian’ languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, or ‘Germanic’) on the other. They also evaluate variation within the Latin language, mostly in a negative way. In this paper, I look at Jerome’s and Sidonius’ evaluative statements about languages and language varieties from the sociolinguistic perspective of language attitude research. I start by defining the concepts of ‘language attitude’ and ‘social connotations hypothesis’, and then proceed to the analysis of linguistic evaluations in Jerome’s and Sidonius’ works. In accordance with the social connotations hypothesis, I argue that these evaluations about languages or language varieties are strongly biased by the socio-cultural stereotypes the authors hold about the speakers of these languages or language varieties.

In: Vigiliae Christianae
In: Ideas on Language in Early Latin Christianity
In: Ideas on Language in Early Latin Christianity
In: Ideas on Language in Early Latin Christianity
In: Ideas on Language in Early Latin Christianity
In: Ideas on Language in Early Latin Christianity
In: Ideas on Language in Early Latin Christianity
In: Ideas on Language in Early Latin Christianity
In: Ideas on Language in Early Latin Christianity