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Vernacular literature

From Academic Kids

Vernacular literature is literature written in the vernacular - the speech of the common people.

In the European tradition, this effectively means literature not written in Latin. In this context, vernacular literature appeared during the Middle Ages and it is widely accepted that the earliest European vernacular literature was written in Irish.

The Italian poet Dante Alighieri, in his De vulgari eloquentia, was possibly the first European writer to argue cogently for the promotion of literature in the vernacular. Important early vernacular works include Dante's Divine Comedy, Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron (both written in Italian) and Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (written in English).

By extension, the term is also used to describe, for example, Chinese literature not written in classical Chinese and Indian literature after Sanskrit.

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