Literary Language

A literary language is a register of a language that is used in literary writing. This may also include liturgical writing. The difference between literary and non-literary (vernacular) forms is more marked in some languages than in others. Where there is a strong divergence, the language is said to exhibit diglossia.

Classical Latin was the literary register of Latin, as opposed to the Vulgar Latin spoken across the Roman Empire. The Latin brought by Roman soldiers to Gaul, Iberia, or Dacia was not identical to the Latin of Cicero, and differed from it in vocabulary, syntax, and grammar. Some literary works with low-register language from the Classical Latin period give a glimpse into the world of early Vulgar Latin. The works of Plautus and Terence, being comedies with many characters who were slaves, preserve some early basilectal Latin features, as does the recorded speech of the freedmen in the Cena Trimalchionis by Petronius Arbiter. At the third Council of Tours in 813, priests were ordered to preach in the vernacular language — either in the rustica lingua romanica (Vulgar Latin), or in the Germanic vernaculars — since the common people could no longer understand formal Latin.

Read more about Literary Language:  Literary English

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Famous quotes related to literary language:

    In literature the ambition of the novice is to acquire the literary language: the struggle of the adept is to get rid of it.
    George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)