Language ideologies, language socialization and language revival in an Italian alpine community
AdvisorHill, Jane H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study is set within a national context which pointed to "a drastic decay of dialects" on the Italian peninsula, and a broader European one which indicated a resurgence of minority languages on the continent. It investigates the ideologies and practices of child language socialization of speakers belonging to a small multilingual community in the Italian Alps to determine if the community is experiencing a dialect revival, and if so, what forms such a process is taking. My analysis focuses on (1) community members' explicit theories on the community codes' values, functions, and roles in child language socialization; (2) caretaker-child interactions in Italian-oriented homes and in the schools. After years of convergence towards Italian, the community is witnessing a resurgence of its local vernacular Nones. The revival phenomenon is sustained by overt and covert communicative practices. The former include explicit support of the dialect as marker of a rediscovered cultural heritage and local identity, and the promotion of Italian-Nones bilingualism as a cognitive advantage. The latter include practices whereby in Italian contexts speakers switch to the dialect to index authority, community-mandated rights and responsibilities, and both positive and negative affect. Also, the community has witnessed the rise of "prestigious practices" which elevate the status of Nones from dialect to language. These consist in speakers' use of the dialect in more prestigious domains and for higher order functions that in a recent past were strictly reserved to Italian. Finally, the sum of overt and covert practices contribute to a resurgence of the dialect supporting its vitality and transmission.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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