Pietro Della Valle, pellegrino e lessicologo

Valeria Della Valle

The article aims to investigate a lesser-known aspect of the traveller Pietro Della Valle. In his letters there is a constant focus on language. Not only on the Italian language in all its facets (idioms, regional forms, neologisms), but on the languages spoken in the countries he visited. Throughout his long and adventurous journey in the East, Pietro Della Valle shows a great curiosity about new words: he defines the terms carefully and precisely, he respects the spelling and pronunciation of the foreignisms, he coins new and expressive words, even onomastics. These features could allow us to define Pietro Della Valle not simply, in the traditional manner, as “the Pilgrim”, but also as “the lexicologist”.

Keywords: Exoticism; Exicologist; Neologisms; Coiner; Journey.