This article on fuzziness in medieval language use is the second part of a three-part contribution to the Common Knowledge symposium “Fuzzy Studies: On the Consequence of Blur.” Each part corresponds broadly to Clifford Geertz's trifold instances of blur as involving “face-to-face interaction” (“life as game”), “collective intensities” (“life as stage”), and “imaginative forms” (“life as text”). Part 2 discusses “collective intensities” by means of some of the key examples of diplomatic negotiations in the Hundred Years War. The main focus of interest is the Treaty of Brétigny, the funeral of Jean II, and the Treaty of Leulinghen. The article asks how English and French negotiators worked collectively through language to create, identify, and maintain borderlines in their public, political relationships.
Ardis Butterfield; FUZZINESS AND PERCEPTIONS OF LANGUAGE IN THE MIDDLE AGES: Part 2: Collective Fuzziness: Three Treaties and a Funeral. Common Knowledge 1 January 2013; 19 (1): 51–64. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0961754X-1815651
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