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    The impact of the vernacular on language and culture

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    Until the twelfth century, Latin was the language used among the educated and within literature. Research and report on the origins of vernacular language, and its spread.

    Assess and evaluate the impacts the spread of vernacular languages had on cultures during this period.

    Present your findings in a 3-page essay in APA format.

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 10, 2019, 5:39 am ad1c9bdddf

    Solution Preview

    As you know, I cannot do the paper for you.
    What I will do is give you a bunch of ideas and sources from which you can construct your own answer.
    The good news is that this is a well researched topic with tons of good sources out there.

    Let's start with the basics:

    To popularize Christianity to the broad masses required vernacular languages.
    Even more, we need to recall that even the nobility in certain places was not entirely embed with Latin.

    The French were probably the first to begin using the vernacular in poetry, and women were some of the major commissioners of these works, since Latin, to some extent, was denied them.

    In the Anglo-Saxon world, as England slowly unified around the leadership of Alfred the Great, chronicles were written in Old English rather than Latin. The same is the case in Ireland, showing that the local languages came into their own even before the later middle ages.


    Wandering minstrels always used the local languages. Stories of both war and love were normally done in the common tongue, since this was understood by more people.

    Here's a quick way to put together an outline:

    1. The demand for literacy increased. This was because both the state and the economy (say, by the 14th c) was growing larger and more powerful. The increasing centralization of the state and growth of the money economy spurred the vulgar languages because the demand for literacy came from these phenomena.

    2. The rise of ancient literary forms (such as the Saga) also gave impetus for the use of the vulgar tongue. This meant that these forms of language spread rapidly. The point is that once the vulgar tongue develops a base, sheer numbers will move it forward. But this did not become very noticeable until the 15th century, where the number of books in the vulgar tongue and Latin were roughly equal.

    3. Monarchies in the later middle ages slowly began to centralize. This was the case in France, Spain, Germany and Byzantium. In all cases, bureaucracies grew, and laws grew more numerous and specific. This automatically meant that the vulgar tongue needed to be used. Court systems could not use Latin if the bulk of its users did not speak it regularly. Even more, the growth of the state involved more and more people in politics, meaning, again automatically, that the vernacular needed to develop and, eventually, become standardized. (My personal opinion is ...

    Solution Summary

    The impact of the vernacular on language and cultures are examined.