The Problem of the Vernacular

1813K [CRN: 16515]

It has been said that a language is a dialect with an army and a navy. Under what conditions do dialects, vernaculars, creoles, and slangs become mediums for literary and artistic expression? How have writers in different cultures managed the relationship between their "official" national languages and their more intimate mother tongues? This course will explore this problem in a variety of literary traditions, including Chinese, Arabic, Hindi-Urdu, Greek, Hebrew, Brazilian Portuguese, Latin and the Romance vernaculars, and a variety of modern European languages.
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