Episode 10 with Antonio Zaldívar
We might associate the sociolinguistic ideas of codeswitching and diglossia more with our own globalized world than with the Middle Ages, but Professor Antonio Zaldívar argues that these practices could have powerful connotations as the kings of Aragon struggled to increase their authority over the nobility in the 13th century. In discussing how these kings began to use the vernacular in responding to noble defiance letters and in requests for support, Zaldívar explores the development modern governing structures and official written communications.
Antonio Zaldívar has been an assistant professor of medieval European history at California State University- San Marcos since 2014. He earned my Ph.D. from the UCLA, where he studied under Teo Ruiz. He specializes in the cultural and political history of the western Mediterranean during the High and Late Middle Ages. He is currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled Language and Power in the Crown of Aragon, 1162-1291. Additionally, he is working on two article-length projects relating to the intersection of language choice and power in the Iberian peninsula. In the first, tentatively entitled “The Rise of Proto-Spanish as a Lingua Franca in the Thirteenth Century,” he examines the increasing use of a common vernacular between the different Iberian royal chanceries during the course of the thirteenth century. In the second, “Fernando’s Castilian: The Rise of Vernacular Writing in Castile’s Royal Chancery,” he considers the motives for the Castilian royal chancery’s transition from writing in Latin to the vernacular during the reign of Fernando III (1217-52).
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