“A più latinamente vedere...”gli uccelli cantano latino e Virgilio parla volgare: il latino in Dante tra polisemia, plurilinguismo e diglossia

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The articles argues for a problematic and evolving notion of the Latin language both in Dante's theoretical treatises and in his creative works. Different and contrasting meanings are associated to the idea and the practice of Latin in Dante's works. On the one hand, Latin partakes in the multilingualism of the Comedy, on the other, it is presented as a language of a higher status (the heavens communicate in Latin). Therefore, the linguistic categories of polysemy, multilingualism and diglossy are the best critical instruments to understand the complexity of Dante's linguistic choices.

Bibliographic note

The abstract of the article is given both in Italian and in Latin.


Translated title of the contribution"To clarify [=to say, to see it in Latin]...": birds sing in Latin and Virgil speaks in dialect: The Latin language in Dante: polysemy, multilingualism and diglossy
Original languageItalian
Article number4
Pages (from-to) 55-87
Number of pages33
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2015


  • Latin in Dante, Diglossy Latin/Vernacular, Multilingualism in Dante, Birds in Occitan poetry