On 23 November at 12:15 Kaidi Kriisa will defend her doctoral thesis „Mitmekeelsuspraktikad varauusaegses Tartu Ülikoolis (1632–1710)“.
Kristi Viiding, Senior Researcher Kristi Viiding, Under and Tuglas Literature Centre, Estonian Academy of Sciences
Prof Päivi Pahta, University of Turku
Dr Peter Sjökvist, Uppsala University
This doctoral dissertation focuses on the study of the academic text-units extant from the early modern Academia Dorpatensis within its both periods Academia Gustaviana (1632–1656) and Academia Gustavo-Carolina (1690–1710) from the aspects of multilingual practices. Multilingual practices is a phenomenon that is often defined as the “alternating use of at least two languages in historical writings”. It is a characteristic which enables to consider a number of different text types and topics within a single study under the same denominator. Both contemporary studies and the extant documents contain very little information about the linguistic performance of that period, therefore there is a lack of knowledge in which language exactly the Academy was governed and communicated in. In order to demonstrate the real linguistic situation of the Academy, all the extant material was collected, divided into 28 sub-groups, and a descriptive-qualitative statistical analysis followed. The main objective of the thesis was either to prove or disprove the general idea of the early modern Academia Dorpatensis being Latin-centered. Two premises were stated in order to prove the Hypothesis: first, that all monolingual texts were mainly in Latin, and in cases when at least two languages were used within a text-unit, Latin was supposed to be the frame language and all the other languages (vernaculars) to be the embedded languages. However, the analysis revealed that the development of the linguistic performance in the 17th century academic texts was not linear from the usage of Latin to multilingual texts, which then would finalize with a text-unit written exclusively in a vernacular. On the contrary, all these practices occur throughout the early modern Academia Dorpatensis, depending mostly on the text-type and its function, author, addressee as well as the medium (i.e. either printed or handwritten text). Based on the results of the thesis, the idea that the 17th century Academy was exclusively Latin-centered can be refuted, since one of the central practices used was multilingualism in which Latin was foremost used with some vernaculars and rarely with other learned languages.