At first glance, Lorenzo Valla has much in common with William of Ockham. Both see language as the key to an understanding of the world, criticizing realist ontologies which admit of various abstract entities. Modern scholars have therefore often argued that Valla's transformation of medieval metaphysics and logic is nominalist in spirit and continues Ockhamist nominalism. The article criticizes this widely held interpretation. At closer inspection, Valla's views on ontology and semantics are very different from Ockham's. Apart from the obvious differences in cultural background, they show widely different approaches, methods, and arguments at a more philosophical level.