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From the Talking Initials of Luigi Vanvitelli to the Graphics of the Alphabet for Language Teaching of XX and XXI Century

  • Maria MartoneEmail author
  • Alessandra Marina Giugliano
  • Salvatore Gaeta
Conference paper
  • 210 Downloads
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1140)

Abstract

In a text, “parlanti” are the illustrated initials decorated with a figurative image whose name begins with the letter itself: the drawing has an illustrative-mnemonic function compared to the letter, but remains independent from text content. The use, although sporadic, of talking initials, dates back to the richly miniated manuscripts of the Middle Ages. With the advent of the press, figurative initials gradually lose their primary role in text composition. However, it is with woodcut, that initials are completely free from the rich decorative apparatus of earlier centuries, and reaches an essential representation, enhanced by the use of graphic engraving technique. One of the last examples of the eighteenth century are the talking initials designed by Luigi Vanvitelli and engraved on copper by Carlo Nolli in Le Antichità di Ercolano esposte. The contribute documents the images and imaginations represented in Vanvitelli’s illustrated letters to arrive at modern and contemporary representations of talking alphabets used in the books for younger learners. The aim is to highlight the ability of graphic design to produce a connection between perceptual, cognitive and executive functions expressed both in XVIII initials and in alphabet books created for language teaching.

Keywords

Vanvitelli Talking initials Illuminated letters Abecedary books Graphic alphabeth 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Based on a collaboration of the authors, paragraphs 1, 1.1, 2, 3 are by Maria Martone, paragraphs 1.2, 2.1 and the pictures are by Alessandra Marina Giugliano, paragraphs 3.1 and 3.2 are by Salvatore Gaeta.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Martone
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alessandra Marina Giugliano
    • 1
  • Salvatore Gaeta
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of History, Drawing and Restoration of Architecture (DSDRA)“Sapienza” University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Master Didattica e promozione della lingua e cultura italiane a stranieri“Ca’ Foscari” University of VeniceVeniceItaly

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