Discourse or dialogue concerning our language 2

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Aug 2, 2019 10:15
Discourse or dialogue concerning our language 2

The theoretical section of the discourse lacks in clarity and logic, tilting toward pragmatism and approximation. Machiavelli doesn't see how it would be possible to not recognize as Florentine the language Dante employed in his literary endeavors. He admits that there is quite a resemblance among many of the Italian vernaculars; however, he believes that a brief analysis of few Dante`s verses and any spontaneous writings from Florence and the other vernaculars will prove incontestably the Tuscan provenience of the vast majority of Dante`s words.
He makes some other observations about languages that need to be noted in order to familiarize with Machiavelli`s idea of language and the usage he does of it. He acknowledges the classical division of language in eight parts of speech but focuses only on nouns pronouns and verbs, clarifying that among the nouns there is a great variance while verbs maintain a sort of uniformity among the Italian vernaculars. He goes further describing verbs as the nerves or the sinews of the system, implicitly recognizing their prominence and superior importance (respect to other parts of the speech). He uses the peculiar metaphors of nerves and sinews to describe the role of verbs in a discourse, in account of their quality of bringing cohesion and consistency to the discourse. For Machiavelli verbs are naturally related to action and force, while nouns and (in a lesser degree) pronouns are subjected to great variability and mutability. Vocabulary naturally changes with time; a great deal of words are borrowed when a new doctrine or philosophy is a new trend in town or at the arrival of foreigners with new habits and costumes, and the relative words for naming them.