A Sociolinguistic Approach to Late Byzantine History Writing, Vienna, September 1–2, 2014
Even though ‘Style switching’, ‘Levels of style’, ‘Mimesis’ and ‘Intertextuality’ are familiar concepts to scholars of Byzantine philology, and have been explored as signs of a Byzantine author’s education (or lack of it), their pragmatic function has not drawn enough attention from modern scholars. Moreover, the target audience and the active role that it played in shaping texts have not been sufficiently appreciated.
This conference aims to approach late Byzantine history writing from a sociolinguistic point of view, which implies that even written literary texts have to be considered as a product of the relationships linking an author, his communicative purpose, the sociocultural context and his target audience. The workshop will focus on the reception of the milestones of historical sociolinguistics – from Romaine 1982 to Eckert 2012 – in the field of Byzantine philology and will address the challenging questions of whether and how the actual scientific debate in (historical) sociolinguistics may influence the hermeneutic of medieval Greek literature.