Grammatiche dell'italiano ‘Pour Les Dames’ nel Settecento: Antonio Curioni fra Parigi e Londra
Across eighteenth-century Europe, a number of authors composed grammars, of their own language or of foreign languages, either dedicated to a ‘lady’ or addressed to a readership of ‘ladies’. Grammarians who indicated in the titles of their works that they had written ‘for the Ladies’, ‘pour les Dames’, ‘per le Dame’, ‘für die Damen’ (or ‘für Frauenzimmer’) often further specified, either in the subtitle or in the body of the text, that they meant to address, more broadly, a readership of beginners.
The Italian Antonio Curioni, in the last decades of the eighteenth century, published a number of works, first in Paris and then in London, meant to help readers learn the Italian language and its grammar, following a progressive method aimed at beginners and then more advanced learners, including grammars ‘à l’usage des dames’. Most of Curioni’s works were dedicated to female figures, young ‘ladies’ of the higher classes, who represented the predominant part of his intended readership.
This essay will examine Curioni’s works within the grammatical production ‘pour les dames’ of the time and against the background of the flourishing, and very competitive, market of grammars meant for a readership eager to learn Italian.