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Introduction

  • Alison Langdon
Chapter
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

The capacity for language has been central to all attempts to differentiate humans from other animals. Yet many nonhuman animals were understood to possess language of their own and in some cases to participate in human language. A range of medieval textual traditions suggests that animals were commonly seen to communicate within and between species, making it increasingly difficult to define “animal” and “human” exclusively. The essays in this interdisciplinary volume explore language, broadly construed, as part of the continued interrogation of the boundaries of human and nonhuman animals in the Middle Ages, finally asking in what ways might deconstructing the medieval anthropocentric view of language speak to the broader question of human singularity.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison Langdon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishWestern Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenUSA

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