Vernacular and Latin Dictionaries
Although the humanist interest in the classics drove the popularity of Latin and polyglot dictionaries in the 16th century, interest in vernacular languages and literatures grew in the late 16th and 17th centuries. Many vernacular reference books followed the patterns of the classical ones that had come before, as books like the Ductor in Linguas attest. The period also saw the publication of books that were bilingual bridges between Latin and a single vernacular or which took the vernacular language directly as their subject—with Latin serving as a lingua franca or language of scholarship to introduce or comment on the vernacular. These books continue the philological and literary forms of the earlier polyglot dictionaries, and extend it into the vernacular realm, but they also introduce a more linguistically educative function including grammar and usage information and specific comparisons between Latin and the relevant vernaculars.