Project C08

Teaching Early Modern Routines of Everyday Communication within Contexts of Linguistic Diversity 

This project explores the ways in which conventionalised communicative practices – for example greetings, forms of address, and other phrases of civility as well as formally little variable types of speech acts such as requests and apologies – were taught in the early modern period (15th– 17th c.) with the use of the first textbooks for modern foreign languages.

On the one hand, emphasis is placed on the explicitly taught linguistic knowledge (regarding vocabulary and grammar, but most notably with regard to communicative everyday routines that are exemplified in model dialogues). On the other hand, the focus is on the explicitly thematised, i.e. partly presumed and partly subliminally conveyed common knowledge about conversational behaviour (patterns). In this context, the often multi-layered recontextualisations of the material deserve special attention. Recontextualisation occurred both when adapting the texts to new languages and when modernising them on the occasion of reprints. For this purpose, the long-term aim of this project is to build up a multilingual parallel corpus of textbooks from the early modern period.