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“Italian is a place where it rains within”. Conversations on language and dialects: Dialects or languages of Italy?, conference by Fiorenzo Toso, University of Sassari. (IIC MONTREAL WEBINAR SERIES)

The Italian Institute of Culture and the Department of Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics of Concordia University, as part of the series of conferences entitled “Italian is a place where it rains within. Conversations on language and dialects“, are pleased to present the conference by Fiorenzo Toso (University of Sassari) entitled Dialects or languages of Italy? Francesco D’Arelli, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute, and Dario Brancato, professor of Concordia University, present the topics of the conference and moderate the debate.

Monday, November 9th 2020, 2pm (Montréal), 8pm (Rome)

Registration required

The conference will deal with the historical relationship between the standard Italian language and the other different varieties traditionally spoken in Italy: the “Italian dialects”, which should not be considered as “dialects (ie varieties) of Italian”, constituting in various ways and according to different articulations of the autonomous and original linguistic heritages in the different regions. The dialects, together with the languages ​​of the alloglossies (varieties further differentiated from Italian, spoken by linguistic minorities recognized as such) are integrated into the “linguistic repertoire” of the country, often resulting in important cultural and literary traditions that the subordinate relationship with the national language is by no means innate, but is the result of long-lasting socio-historical processes. Reflection on these issues will also involve some observations on the fortune and current reality of some of the “languages ​​of Italy” abroad.

Fiorenzo Toso lives between Liguria, where he resides, and Sardinia, where he is full professor of Linguistics at the University of Sassari. Dialectologist, he is a specialist in the Ligurian linguistic area, to which he has dedicated numerous studies, with particular reference to the linguistic contact between Genoese and other languages ​​and to overseas varieties, to linguistic and literary history and to various themes relating to lexicon: among the others Il tabarchino. Strutture, evoluzione storica, aspetti sociolinguistici, Milan, Franco Angeli, 2004; Linguistica di aree laterali ed estreme. Contatto, interferenza, colonie linguistiche e «isole» culturali nel Mediterraneo occidentale, Recco, Le Mani, 2008; Linguistica di aree laterali ed estreme. Contatto, interferenza, colonie linguistiche e «isole» culturali nel Mediterraneo occidentale, Recco, Le Mani, 2009. In the Genoese language he is the author of two volumes of poetry, fiction and translations into and from Italian, Spanish, French and other languages. He also deals with linguistic minorities in Italy and Europe, with reference to sociolinguistic and glottopolitical aspects and literary traditions (Le minoranze linguistiche in Italia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2008), Italian etymology and metalanguage of linguistics. Free lecturer of Italian Philology, collaborator among other things of the Lessico Etimologico Italiano founded by M. Pfister and of the Atlante Linguistico del Mediterraneo and of the Enciclopedia dell’italiano directed by R. Simone (2010), he directs the project of the Dizionario Etimologico Storico Genovese e Ligure.

Dario Brancato is Associate Professor of Italian Literature at Concordia University, Montreal. He is an expert of literature and culture in Renaissance Florence, the reception of the Classical tradition (Boethius and Aristotle in particular) in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and Italian linguistics and dialectology. He has published many articles and one monograph (Il Boezio di Benedetto Varchi. Edizione critica del volgarizzamento della Consolatio Philosophiae (1551), Olschki, 2018), and collaborates with several research centres in Europe and North America. In 2014-2015, he was a recipient of a fellowship at Villa I Tatti in Florence (Harvard University).

  • Organized by: Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Montréal
  • In collaboration with: Department of Classics, Modern Languages and Lingu
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