Communication and the literary production of the Middle Ages were an integral part of a complex linguistic situation. Latin, the Western European language of education and administration, stood in contrast to the vernacular languages, which in turn were divided into different dialects. Different vernacular languages often existed in the same geographic area. This anthology approaches this topic, which has not been systematically covered until now, from an interdisciplinary perspective. It discusses fundamental methodological issues and surviving linguistic and literary documents from the 8th up to the 16th century.