Liubov’ I. Zholudeva
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation


The article focuses on a piece of Italian Renaissance linguistic thought: the treatise “Il Cesano” by Claudio Tolomei (written around 1525, first published in 1555). The treatise in question is an argumentative essay where multifarious aspects of language standardisation in Italy are discussed in a broad sociolinguistic context. Thus, Tolomei discusses the origins of human language and its basic functions, language contacts and their role in the development of new languages, the correlation between language use and codified norm, the importance of functional-stylistic diversification of literary languages, phonetic and grammatical changes from Latin to the Romance languages, and, last but not least, the primary role of verbal interaction in the process of language acquisition. In 1555 when the treatise, written around 1525, was finally published it was already beyond doubt that the Italian language norm was being developed along the lines of the authoritative texts (Dante Alighieri’s “Divine comedy”, G. Boccaccio’s “Decameron”, and F. Petrarca’s “Canzoniere”, in the first place). In this context Tolomei, with his emphasis on living language and modern patterns of usage, stands out from the crowd. Many among Tolomei’s insights seem not to have been fully understood and valued by his contemporaries; however, they find numerous parallels in today’s linguistic thought.

Keywords: history of linguistics, language norm, language use, Romance languages, Italian language, Claudio Tolomei

For citation: Zholudeva L.I. Sociolinguistic issues in Claudio Tolomei’s treatise “Cesano” (1525). Sociolinguistics, 2020, no. 4(4) [online], pp. 173–185. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.37892/2713-2951-2020-4-4-173-185