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  • Le Vernaculaire: A Brief Lexical History in French

    Christina Kullberg

    Chapter from the book: Helgesson, S et al. 2018. World Literatures: Exploring the Cosmopolitan-Vernacular Exchange.

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    This article traces French early modern understandings of the word vernacular in order to see what kinds of conceptual possibilities lie in the very history of the word. The investigation takes its cue from what could be identified as a quest for the moment of emergence of literatures within recent theories of world literature, a search in which the notion of the vernacular has come to play a crucial role. By investigating the etymology of the word based on a corpus of major dictionaries and encyclopedias from the seventeenth up to the nineteenth centuries, and the ways in which the vernacular has been used since its first appearance in French in Rabelais’ Le Quart livre (1542) and how it has evolved in early modern times, this study will problematise the systemic understanding of vernacularisation in terms of localizable moments and constant power struggles and explore other possible interpretations of what the vernacular may mean.

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    Kullberg, C. 2018. Le Vernaculaire: A Brief Lexical History in French. In: Helgesson, S et al (eds.), World Literatures. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/bat.c

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Nov. 22, 2018


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