IASA's Blog - All Years

Stony Brook talk on Italian dialects

(Feb 15, 2012)

Italy is a linguistically diverse country. At a national level, many languages (minority languages, immigrant languages, "dialects") are spoken, in addition to standard Italian. At an individual level, most Italians are bi- or multi-lingual. This talk will focus on the state of Italian dialects in Italy, today. It is well known that when Italy was first united 150 years ago, only about 3.5% of the neo-Italians actually spoke Italian. Today, everyone speaks Italian to varying degrees of fluency. What happened over the intervening 150 years is nothing short of a linguistic from the opposite side; we see that the increase in use of Italian comes at the expense of the dialects. A recent survey by ISTAT (2006) reports that only about 16% of Italians speak dialect in the home, and the percentage is even lower in other social settings. How did we get from a situation where approximately 96.5% of the population only spoke a dialect, to a situation where a mere 16% use it at home? Where did the dialects go? And should we care?

Speaker: Professor Lori Repetti, Department of Linguistics, Stony Brook University

Free and open to the public.

Center for Italian Studies Presentation: The Languages of Italy
Thursday 3/15/2012 Start Time: 5:30 PMLocation Information:

West Campus - Frank Melville Jr. Library (View Map)
Nicolls Road
Main Entrance
Stony Brook, NY 11794
Phone: (631) 632-6000
Room: Center for Italian Studies Meeting Hall, E-4340
Contact Information:
Phone: (631) 632-7444