Greening Language: Hildegard’s Monastery Garden

  • Sarah L. Higley
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


Has anyone observed that Hildegard’s Lingua is beautiful? It seems a point that calls out for emphasis. Not only is she erecting a beautiful building, a lexical monastery, she is growing a garden of new words, exhibiting the spirit of her “greenness.” Speaking of green, then, I turn at this point to Hildegard’s trees.


Grammatical Gender Root Word Final Syllable Feminine Noun Syllable Word 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    Jeffrey Schapp, “Virgin Words: Hildegard of Bingen’s Lingua Ignota and the Development of Imaginary Languages Ancient to Modern.” Exemplaria 3.2 (1991),” 290–291 [267–298]. I cannot understand why Schnapp remarks that the Lingua is without diphthongs. Consider Maiz, Peuearrez, Funschiol, and so many other words. Lack of observation seems to be a fault here and continues to be demonstrated in the rest of this passage.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Peter Dronke, “Hudegard’s Inventions: Aspects of her Language and Imagery,” in Hildegard von Bingen in ihrem historischen Umfeld, ed. Alfred Haverkamp (Mainz: Verlag Phuipp von Zabem, 2000), p. 303 [299–320].Google Scholar
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    Ursula K. Le Guin, Foreword, in Encyclopedia of Fictional and Fantastic Languages, ed. Tim Conley and Stephen Cain (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006), pp. xvii—xviii.Google Scholar
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    Roman Jakobson, “What is Poetry?” in Language and Literature, trans Michael Heim, ed. Krystyna Pomorska and Stephen Rudy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 1987), p. 378.Google Scholar
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    J.R.R. Tolkien, “A Secret Vice,” The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays, ed. Christopher Tolkien (Boston: Houghton Mifflen & Co., 1984), p. 219 [198–223].Google Scholar

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© Sarah L. Higley 2007

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  • Sarah L. Higley

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