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>. so that Dante can talk about
"Italian vernacular" as a shorthand for general features of vernaculars
used in Italy while being well aware that no such single peninsula-wide
variety exists in actual fact - I'd be very tempted to translate some of
those singulars ("loquela", "volgare") as plurals in English, just to
get
across a point that could all too easily be missed today.

Absolutely. I agree. And, in fact, as you are aware, Dante discusses the
some estent the different "loquele" of the peninsula and islands as
well.
Robert


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