Expressed attitudes and ethnic identity in Italy: A comparison of two regional communities (Veneto and Sardinia)

Abstract : Although Italian is nowadays the national language shared by all Italians, regional languages still have a wide diffusion within the local communities (Tosi, 2001). Politically, the Italian government has recognized some of these languages and communities officially. Sardinia and Veneto's communities and languages benefit from a different status. In fact, Sardinian language has been officially given the status of a minority language (national law 482/1999 and Sardinian regional law 26/ 1997) whereas Veneto does not enjoy such an official recognition despite its socio-historical and prestigious literary and political heritage (Feltrin, 2003; Tufi, 2013). The link between linguistic and community identity is an important element contributing to expressions of language attitudes within Italy. Moreover, these have significant repercussions on the political as well as the social debates, which can go from nationalist pro-Italian to independentist discourse. Our study is based on the observation of these expressions of language attitudes found within the public spheres, mainly in Internet forums, social networks and public sites as Youtube (see also Depau & Ghimenton, 2009). We analyze in which circumstances Italy is acknowledged as the nation state or when it is perceived as the imperialist figure. From the linguistic side, we will explore whether or not Italian is perceived as a means of implementing such imperialism to the detriment of the local communities' languages. For example, the speakers' designation of a local variety as a "dialect" or as a "language" is a possible start to the exploration of the linguistic identity. The overarching aim of the study is to compare Sardinian with Veneto in order to examine whether the differing status has an impact on the identity values speakers assign to their local languages. The observations from this comparative study may provide elements of further discussion on Italy's sociolinguistic situation and on the role of Internet on the diffusion of language ideologies. References: Depau, G., & Ghimenton, A. (2009). Internet and minority languages: a study on Sardinian. In S. Pertot, T. Priestly, & C. H. Williams (eds), Rights, promotion and integration issues for minority languages in Europe (p. 216‑226). Palgrave Macmillan. Feltrin, P. (2003). L'uso del dialetto: immagini della lingua locale presso i cittadini veneti. In G. Marcato (ed.), Italiano. Strana lingua (p. 45‑58). Padova: Unipress. Tosi, A. (2001). Language and Society in a Changing Italy. Multilingual Matters. Tufi, S. (2013). Language Ideology and Language Maintenance: The Case of Sardinia. International Journal of the Sociology of Language (p. 213-219).
Type de document :
Communication dans un congrès
36th International LAUD Symposium Endangerment of Languages across the Planet: The Dynamics of Linguistic Diversity and Globalization, Mar 2014, Landau/Pfalz, Germany
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Contributeur : Giovanni Depau <>
Soumis le : mardi 3 juin 2014 - 13:17:10
Dernière modification le : lundi 9 avril 2018 - 12:22:40

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  • HAL Id : hal-00999290, version 1

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Anna Ghimenton, Giovanni Depau. Expressed attitudes and ethnic identity in Italy: A comparison of two regional communities (Veneto and Sardinia). 36th International LAUD Symposium Endangerment of Languages across the Planet: The Dynamics of Linguistic Diversity and Globalization, Mar 2014, Landau/Pfalz, Germany. 〈hal-00999290〉

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