Spoken Latin behind Written Texts: Formulaicity and Salience in Medieval Documentary Texts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This study exploits treebanking to investigate how spoken language infiltrated into legal Latin in early medieval Italy. Documents are always formulaic, but they also always contain a ‘free’ part where the case in question is described. This paper uses this difference to measure how ten linguistic features, representative of the evolution that took place between Classical and Late Latin, are distributed between the formulaic and free parts. Some variants are attested equally often in both parts of the documents, while perceptually or conceptually salient variants appear to be preserved in their conservative form mainly in the formulaic parts. Conceptual salience will be defined as the cognitive prominence of a (syntactic) construction.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)429-449
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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