Hildegard of Bingen's Unknown Language: An Edition, Translation, and Discussion

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Palgrave Macmillan, Dec 15, 2007 - Foreign Language Study - 246 pages

The Lingua Ignota, "brought forth" by the twelfth-century German nun Hildegard of Bingen, provides 1012 neologisms for praise of Church and new expression of the things of her world. Noting her visionary metaphors, her music, and various medieval linguistic philosophies, Higley examines how the "Unknown Language" makes arid signifiers green again. This text, however, is too often seen in too narrow a context: glossolalia, angelic language, secret code. Higley provides an edition and English translation of its glosses in the Riesencodex (with assistance from the Berlin MS) , but also places it within a history of imaginary language making from medieval times to the most contemporary projects in efforts to uncover this woman’s bold involvement in an intellectual and creative endeavor that spans centuries.

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User Review  - Lindoula - LibraryThing

The title is quite misleading. You'd never guess from it that a good deal of the book is about invented languages and their history - not just Lingua Ignota. The contents are fascinating, but a better ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - akswede - LibraryThing

The title is quite misleading. You'd never guess from it that a good deal of the book is about invented languages and their history - not just Lingua Ignota. The contents are fascinating, but a better ... Read full review

About the author (2007)

Sarah L. Higley is an Associate Professor at the University of Rochester, NY. She teaches Old and Middle English, Middle Welsh, Medieval Women Writers, Film Studies, and Creative Writing. Her publications include Between Languages: The Uncooperative Text in Early Welsh and Old English Nature Poetry (1993), Nothing That Is: Millennial Cinema and the Blair Witch Controversies (2004, co-edited with Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock), and numerous articles on Old English, Middle English, Middle Welsh, Old Norse, Gender Studies, and Film and Television Studies. Her most recent work has been in Germanic mythology.

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