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Les origines comparées de l'écriture et de la parole à la Renaissance

Abstract : During the Renaissance, opinions were developed that called into question the primacy of words over writing in esotericist circles -for whom the creation of the alphabet was concomitant with the creation of the world- and in terminist circles of Parisian scholastics, who viewed the written word as a direct expression of concepts. These two trends are united for Blaise de Vigenère, whose Traité des Chiffres (1586) makes an efficient dissociation between the ordinary written sign and the "cipher": the latter is a semeion which is both steganographic and manifestative, like mathematic signs, and is attached to the scriptum. Vigenère's interest in the origin of languages and writing is expressed in his forward-looking approach: the original vision is reversed into a forecast of a universal writing method, as with Hermann Hugo (De prima scribendi origine, 1617). This Jesuit goes beyond the question of origins in order to argue in favor of the community of concepts from written signs, one example of which can be found in Chinese ideograms. His method of historical investigation brings him to hypothesize about the visionary return of the original dispersion through the harmonious sharing of graphical signs.
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Contributor : Marie-Luce Demonet <>
Submitted on : Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 9:21:55 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 1:48:03 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00713423, version 1



Marie-Luce Demonet. Les origines comparées de l'écriture et de la parole à la Renaissance. Les Origines du langage, 2001, Genève, Suisse. pp.165-182. ⟨halshs-00713423⟩



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