Minoritized Italian languages

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Itikar
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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby Itikar » 2014-04-01, 20:58

IpseDixit wrote:Itikar, come tu l'hai scoperto 'sto Genzanese? :)

Comunque su i' sito da te fornito, se pigio su "note di grammatica" 'unn m'esce nulla. :(

È stato ch'ero depresso perché 'un mi riesce di parla' 'n sto mantovano e sicché mi sfogavo a cerca' i ddialetti che en parlati un poino piú 'n giú. :oops:

Legge sta pagina ví che 'un ci ha il flash e l'altre schifezze 'nventate per 'un fa' naviga' la gente. :)
L'articolo è lo stesso di quell'altro sito.
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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-04-01, 21:00

Itikar wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Itikar, come tu l'hai scoperto 'sto Genzanese? :)

Comunque su i' sito da te fornito, se pigio su "note di grammatica" 'unn m'esce nulla. :(

È stato ch'ero depresso perché 'un mi riesce di parla' 'n sto mantovano e sicché mi sfogavo a cerca' i ddialetti che en parlati un pohino piú 'n giú. :oops:

Legge sta pagina ví che 'un ci ha il flash e l'altre schifezze 'nventate per 'un fa' naviga' la gente. :)
L'articolo è lo stesso di quell'altro sito.


Ok grazie :)

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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby Itikar » 2014-04-01, 21:05

mōdgethanc wrote:I bet the Tarantino wiki is a bloody mess.

As far as I've seen not more than those in the other languages of Italy.
Likely less than the Neapolitan or the Emilian ones.
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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-04-01, 21:07

Itikar wrote:
mōdgethanc wrote:I bet the Tarantino wiki is a bloody mess.

As far as I've seen not more than those in the other languages of Italy.
Likely less than the Neapolitan or the Emilian ones.


Penso fosse un gioco di parole... (Tarantino, il regista...) :)

Comunque, sai che variante/i usano per wikipedia in emiliano?
Last edited by IpseDixit on 2014-04-01, 21:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby linguoboy » 2014-04-01, 21:10

Itikar wrote:
mōdgethanc wrote:I bet the Tarantino wiki is a bloody mess.

As far as I've seen not more than those in the other languages of Italy.
Likely less than the Neapolitan or the Emilian ones.

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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby Itikar » 2014-04-01, 21:21

IpseDixit wrote:Penso fosse un gioco di parole... (Tarantino, il regista...) :)

Ah per il sangue... son proprio suonato.

La Wikipedia è per emiliana e romagnola insieme. A quanto ho visto le usan praticamente tutte, e chi scrive un singolo articolo ne sceglie una. Quelle usate piú di frequente mi sembrano reggiano e bolognese.
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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-04-01, 21:23

Itikar wrote:Ah per il sangue


Esclamazione mantovana? :)

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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby Itikar » 2014-04-01, 21:35

No, intendevo per via del sangue che c'è nelle pellicole di Tarantino.
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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-04-01, 21:36

Itikar wrote:No, intendevo per via del sangue che c'è nelle pellicole di Tarantino. :P


lol ok anch'io sono un po' rintronato x)

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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby Saim » 2014-04-02, 16:25

IpseDixit wrote:Anybody who knows something about the Italian reality knows that people would reject it outright. I cannot imagine my Modenese friend accepting Bolognese as the standard Emilian language. And yet again I don't see how this could be considered an improvement.


The reality of Italy is that a sizable majority of the population either accepts or outwardly supports the extinction of most of its linguistic diversity. Anything beyond that - whether the establishment of Bolognese as the standard variety of Emilian or the reintroduction of Emilian in any form into the public sphere or education system - is a political project that has to be constructed.

IpseDixit wrote:
Saim wrote: What bothers me is the attitude that it's more important to make sure no-one calls Italian "Tuscan"


In fact Italian is not Tuscan. You can call it upper-class-Florentine, but that wouldn't be 100% correct either.

What I see is you applying Spanish categories to the Italian situation, which is a bit annoying honestly.


From a linguistic point of view, we could say that Italian was a literary register of Tuscan that ended up becoming the dominant vernacular of Italy. The same process has occurred in many other languages, sometimes accompanied by a name change (Khariboli --> Urdu or Tuscan --> Italian) while other times it's not. In this case, calling vernacularised literary Khariboli or Tuscan by the original name is not "incorrect" in a factual or historical sense even if that's not the most common modern usage of the term.

In any case, this was precisely what I was saying - it disturbs me that it seems to bother you more that I occasionally call Italian "Tuscan" or Barese "Neapolitan" more than the fact that following current trends most of the languages of the Italian Peninsula will die out. If that's not the case, then great! But then we have to step back and think about what kind of discourse will help preserve Italy's immense linguistic richness and variety - perhaps adapting at least some of the discourse used in Catalonia, Wales, Frisia or any other territory that has had some relative success in achieving normalisation policies could help. In that sense the use of "Spanish categories" can only be a strategic one (and I'll totally accept that that's a bad strategic choice if I'm given some alternative strategy more acceptable within the Italian context), as essentially all categories are essentially arbitrary or invented.

So there we go - if my vision is too Hispanocentric what are the strategies, categories or discourses could be used in Italy to prevent language shift? I'm all ears.

Itikar wrote:A large standard in several cases would probably cause more harm than good and ultimately alienate people even further.
On the other hand adopting several small standards would risk insufficient support for them.


Is there any approach that could help normalise the use of minoritised languages in Italy?

Keep in mind that in the Basque Country, Catalonia, Wales and several other areas with a recently developed or reintroduced standard there was lots of resistence in the beginning. Later however the standards do manage to gain prestige and can compete with the invasive languages. Not that I'm necessarily in favour of this apporach - it would be bad if Central Catalan wiped out Majorcan, for example.

IpseDixit wrote:Would it really be an improvement to have a bunch of conlangs created by some linguists? Also in this case the "dialects" would die and we would be left with a few conlangs with no history behind, which nobody ever spoke. Do you really see it as desirable and as an improvement?
This is a question that I personally asked myself before ditching Standard Ladin[*] in favour of the "dialect" of my family.

[*] which btw hasn't really been accepted by Ladins so far (and the difference between the variants of Ladin is probably nothing compared to those of other regional languages), the same can be said about another alike experiment, Rumatsch Grishun, and this should really tell you something about how people like standardisation.


In what meaningful sense is Standard Ladin or Rumantsch Grishun more of a "conlang" than Standard Italian?

Itikar wrote:Do you think that it deserves to be considered only a weird dialect of Italian?


I don't tend to use the category "weird dialect" at all.

IpseDixit

Re: Random language thread 2

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-04-02, 17:06

Saim wrote:In what meaningful sense is Standard Ladin or Rumantsch Grishun more of a "conlang" than Standard Italian?


Italian spawned from Florentine, it's not a compromise, a collage between different "dialects". It does have influences from other "dialects" but the basis remains Florentine.

Standard Ladin And Rumatsch Grischun are a mix of different dialects, they are a compromise, a hybrid, a hodgepodge of different variants.

From a linguistic point of view, we could say that Italian was a literary register of Tuscan that ended up becoming the dominant vernacular of Italy. The same process has occurred in many other languages, sometimes accompanied by a name change (Khariboli --> Urdu or Tuscan --> Italian) while other times it's not. In this case, calling vernacularised literary Khariboli or Tuscan by the original name is not "incorrect" in a factual or historical sense even if that's not the most common modern usage of the term.


The point is that "Tuscan" evolved outside of Tuscany and acquired different features even from Florentine itself. IMO saying that people outside of Tuscany speak Tuscan is a bit like saying that Romance-speaking people speak vulgar Latin. It may be historically correct but definitely very odd.

Is there any approach that could help normalise the use of minoritised languages in Italy?

Keep in mind that in the Basque Country, Catalonia, Wales and several other areas with a recently developed or reintroduced standard there was lots of resistence in the beginning. Later however the standards do manage to gain prestige and can compete with the invasive languages. Not that I'm necessarily in favour of this apporach - it would be bad if Central Catalan wiped out Majorcan, for example.


To me the flaw in this approach seems to be the fact that you still have all the natural dialects endangered as you would concentrate your efforts on an artificial standard. I don't know, but to me this looks like more of a political act (for example aimed at strengthening and uniting a people's consciousness, which I'm pretty sure it's the case of Catalonia and the Basque Country) rather than something done out of love for minority languages. Some posts above I've already expressed my humble opinion about what to do. It's not very articulated, that's true, but it's better than nothing.
Last edited by IpseDixit on 2014-04-02, 17:39, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby linguoboy » 2014-04-02, 17:29

Saim wrote:In what meaningful sense is Standard Ladin or Rumantsch Grishun more of a "conlang" than Standard Italian?

In that Standard Italian was actually based on a lingua franca which was in actual use (i.e. Florentine spoken by non-Florentines). I've met people who write Rumantsch Grischun, but no one who actually speaks it.
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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby Saim » 2014-04-02, 21:00

IpseDixit wrote:Italian spawned from Florentine, it's not a compromise, a collage between different "dialects". It does have influences from other "dialects" but the basis remains Florentine.

Standard Ladin And Rumatsch Grischun are a mix of different dialects, they are a compromise, a hybrid, a hodgepodge of different variants.


So... like Standard German.

The point is that "Tuscan" evolved outside of Tuscany and acquired different features even from Florentine itself. IMO saying that people outside of Tuscany speak Tuscan is a bit like saying that Romance-speaking people speak vulgar Latin. It may be historically correct but definitely very odd.


I don't mind being odd. Although to be honest outside of a language forum I wouldn't call it Tuscan.

To me the flaw in this approach seems to be the fact that you still have all the natural dialects endangered as you would concentrate your efforts on an artificial standard. I don't know, but to me this looks like more of a political act (for example aimed at strengthening and uniting a people's consciousness, which I'm pretty sure it's the case of Catalonia and the Basque Country) rather than something done out of love for minority languages. Some posts above I've already expressed my humble opinion about what to do. It's not very articulated, that's true, but it's better than nothing.


Is there any language policy or ideology that is truly apolitical? The spread of Italian itself was propagated precisely to construct a nation-state, and we know this because the country's founders openly admitted to as much. Any language policy that respects other varieties spoken in Italy without subordinating them to Italian will be seen as "political", whether we like it or not.

I was looking through your posts on the issue, and there's a few things that struck me:

But yeah probably Ladin is in a privileged situation in comparison with other minority languages since ... we have a stronger consciousness of being a people.


Is this not "political"? To a certain extent, the preservation of a language is the preservation of a language community, an ethnic group. In that sense, all language use is inherently political.

IpseDixit wrote:No if we introduce policies aimed at saving dialects/regional languages.


Are there any policies here that don't subordinate everything to Italian? It's pretty clear that social bilingualism in a given territory is unsustainable and always leads to the minoritised variety giving way to the dominant one -- how then are we supposed to create an Italy where every kind of speech is dominant in its own territory? Where Italians develop passive knowledge of neighbouring varieties rather than resorting to a lingua franca for all extraregional communication? Do you even contemplate such an Italy?

I do agree though that the standard is not necessarily the key to revitalisation, and that in a policy or strategy focused on standardisation and the propogation of a new standard we just decentralise the evil rather than doing away with it. We need to create a world where we don't have to "save" languages, but where languages save themselves. In that sense, the fight for minority languages is the fight for multilingualism in general - in education and media for example it's important to put an emphasis on the languages that are found in or near the environment of the students or viewers. In Europe, instead of promoting real plurilingualism that focuses on neighbouring languages, immigrant languages and other languages that are relevant in people's environment, basically all that is taught is English and at a push French or German. In Castilian Spain not a single school offers Galaico-Portuguese or Catalan nor is it possible to view TV in those languages in most of the territory, in Catalonia everyone knows Spanish but very little French or Italian, and so on... That is certainly not good for minority languages.

Lowena wrote:Maybe this incredibly boring talk about Italian could be split to, I don't know, the Italian forum? When I created the first thread I intended it to be the language version of the Random Complaints And Advice/Random Happiness threads, not a place for in depth discussion on a very narrow topic that doesn't interest most people.

And before any of you say that it doesn't matter that I created it, yes it does. There's such a rule of being off-topic, and who besides the topic creator creates the topic? If that didn't matter, then there'd be no use for individual threads, and the forum would be better as an open chatroom.


I suggest you PM a moderator. I certainly wouldn't mind it being split.

loqu wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:It seems that people learning Italian are extremely fond of the word amico when addressing someone, I don't understand why, I don't even call my real friends amico, it's so weird and slightly annoying.

It always stroke me as odd how often people attempting at Spanish in US movies or series say amigo. I feel exactly the same you described about Italian. We wouldn't ever use amigo when addressing anyone.


I noted that Punjabis in Barcelona tend to overuse the term amigo, although I imagine that's due to direct translation of Punjabi yaar. They (translating "bhai") and the Arabs (translating "khoya" or "akhi") tend to overuse the term hermano as well.

linguoboy wrote:
Saim wrote:In what meaningful sense is Standard Ladin or Rumantsch Grishun more of a "conlang" than Standard Italian?

In that Standard Italian was actually based on a lingua franca which was in actual use (i.e. Florentine spoken by non-Florentines). I've met people who write Rumantsch Grischun, but no one who actually speaks it.


That's true, although in this case we can't expect standards of these languages to develop "naturally", because if we adopt a laissez-faire additude now these languages will be eliminated by inertia.

IpseDixit

Re: Random language thread 2

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-04-02, 23:10

Saim wrote:So... like Standard German.


I know nothing about German so I'm not going to say anything about that.

Is there any language policy or ideology that is truly apolitical? The spread of Italian itself was propagated precisely to construct a nation-state, and we know this because the country's founders openly admitted to as much. Any language policy that respects other varieties spoken in Italy without subordinating them to Italian will be seen as "political", whether we like it or not.


So, what would the aim of creating standard versions of Emilian, Ligurian, Piedmontese etc etc be? To undo Garibaldi's work or what else?

Definitely not saving the linguistic diversity of Italy.

Is this not "political"? To a certain extent, the preservation of a language is the preservation of a language community, an ethnic group. In that sense, all language use is inherently political.


So what? I don't follow you honestly. I just said that IMO the creation of a standard has other reasons different from the love of linguistic diversity.

If we take linguistic diversity as our goal, the creation of a standard isn't that much of an improvement. For instance Emilian has at least 30 different variants. Now, what you are suggesting is that in order to "save" Emilian we should create an artificial language instead of cultivating each dialect which have centuries and centuries of history behind.

So basically you are giving up 30 beautiful, old, dialects, for a Frankestein language.

Are there any policies here that don't subordinate everything to Italian?


Would you mind elaborating? I'm not 100% sure to understand what you mean.

It's pretty clear that social bilingualism in a given territory is unsustainable and always leads to the minoritised variety giving way to the dominant one -- how then are we supposed to create an Italy where every kind of speech is dominant in its own territory? Where Italians develop passive knowledge of neighbouring varieties rather than resorting to a lingua franca for all extraregional communication? Do you even contemplate such an Italy?


I don't know honestly. I don't have a solution. I just know what is not a solution, as I wrote above.

Saim wrote:I do agree though that the standard is not necessarily the key to revitalisation, and that in a policy or strategy focused on standardisation and the propogation of a new standard we just decentralise the evil rather than doing away with it. We need to create a world where we don't have to "save" languages, but where languages save themselves. In that sense, the fight for minority languages is the fight for multilingualism in general - in education and media for example it's important to put an emphasis on the languages that are found in or near the environment of the students or viewers. In Europe, instead of promoting real plurilingualism that focuses on neighbouring languages, immigrant languages and other languages that are relevant in people's environment, basically all that is taught is English and at a push French or German. In Castilian Spain not a single school offers Galaico-Portuguese or Catalan nor is it possible to view TV in those languages in most of the territory, in Catalonia everyone knows Spanish but very little French or Italian, and so on... That is certainly not good for minority languages.


Agreed.

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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby Saim » 2014-04-03, 7:42

IpseDixit wrote:
So, what would the aim of creating standard versions of Emilian, Ligurian, Piedmontese etc etc be? To undo Garibaldi's work or what else?

So what? I don't follow you honestly. I just said that IMO the creation of a standard has other reasons different from the love of linguistic diversity.


You said the development of regional standards would seem "political". My contention is that any language policy or moviment would be "political", including the one that you suggest.

If we take linguistic diversity as our goal, the creation of a standard isn't that much of an improvement. For instance Emilian has at least 30 different variants. Now, what you are suggesting is that in order to "save" Emilian we should create an artificial language instead of cultivating each dialect which have centuries and centuries of history behind.


In practice neither of these things are being done.

Are there any policies here that don't subordinate everything to Italian?


Would you mind elaborating? I'm not 100% sure to understand what you mean.


Do you imagine an Italy where there is anything beyond native bilingualism? Can you imagine one where Italian may be useful to communicate with people of other territories, but is not necessarily spoken perfectly by everyone? As I said, society-wide bilingualism is not really stable, and is evidence of a language conflict.

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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby Itikar » 2014-04-03, 15:36

Saim wrote:Can you imagine one where Italian may be useful to communicate with people of other territories, but is not necessarily spoken perfectly by everyone?

Present day Italy. :mrgreen:

Itikar wrote:On top of that there are also important varieties in Italy that are still considered dialects of Italian even by international linguists.
Genzanese is a beautiful Romance language with a full neuter gender and other nice features which is part of the group "dialetti dei castelli romani".
Did you know that it existed?

Do you think that it deserves to be considered only a weird dialect of Italian?


I don't tend to use the category "weird dialect" at all.

Very well, so what is it for you then?

Standard Italian is really the language of nobody.
Even the youths who don't speak their ancestral vernacular speak a regional Italian which has often several non-standard features.
Moreover finding a way to protect varieties closer to it, the most subjected to its direct influence, such as the various Central Italian vernaculars, would probably prove effective also for the others.
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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-04-03, 15:50

While I don't think it was necessary to call this discussion boring (although I don't find it all that interesting myself) I do second the idea of splitting it since this is not the Random Italian Thread.
Saim wrote:The reality of Italy is that a sizable majority of the population either accepts or outwardly supports the extinction of most of its linguistic diversity. Anything beyond that - whether the establishment of Bolognese as the standard variety of Emilian or the reintroduction of Emilian in any form into the public sphere or education system - is a political project that has to be constructed.
I'm of the opinion that's the business of the Italians and not anyone else.

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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby Saim » 2014-04-03, 22:23

mōdgethanc wrote:I'm of the opinion that's the business of the Italians and not anyone else.


I disagree. Its their decision, but anyone else can talk about it.

Itikar wrote:
Saim wrote:Can you imagine one where Italian may be useful to communicate with people of other territories, but is not necessarily spoken perfectly by everyone?

Present day Italy. :mrgreen:


Most people who speak minoritised varieties are native bilinguals, especially younger speakers. Most younger people only or predominantely speak Italian. When I mean "spoken perfectly" I mean "fluently" - would you be willing to accept an Italy where there are (young, even) people who understand Italian but don't necessarily speak it?

Itikar wrote:Very well, so what is it for you then?


Are you asking for what kind of "thing" it is or what its genetic affilation is? As for the category it falls under, it is a "language variety" just like any other. Regarding genetic affilation, I imagine it's a form of Romanesque (hence Italo-Dalmatian, Eastern Romance, Romance and Indo-European), no?

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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby Itikar » 2014-04-04, 11:40

Saim wrote:Most people who speak minoritised varieties are native bilinguals, especially younger speakers. Most younger people only or predominantely speak Italian. When I mean "spoken perfectly" I mean "fluently" - would you be willing to accept an Italy where there are (young, even) people who understand Italian but don't necessarily speak it?

Absolutely not.
Moreover I have come to the conclusion that quite a lot of people, including young monolinguals, speak Italian badly because they do not know their ancestral vernacular well enough!!!

Are you asking for what kind of "thing" it is or what its genetic affilation is? As for the category it falls under, it is a "language variety" just like any other. Regarding genetic affilation, I imagine it's a form of Romanesque (hence Italo-Dalmatian, Eastern Romance, Romance and Indo-European), no?

It shares several similarities with Romanesco. Some consider these vernaculars and ciociaro to be authentic non-tuscanised Romanesco.
Regardless I think they should have more visibility and be more protected. At present Central Italian varieties are simply overlooked, due to their proximity to literary Italian. In truth, however, also in the middle of the country there is a dramatic loss of language diversity under way and many, even in Italy, do not even realise this is happening.

I think, besides, that we should really move to the Italian board to continue the discussion (and maybe move our messages there too).

See you there.
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Re: Random language thread 2

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-04-04, 16:16

I'm kind of glad I live in a country where there aren't 50 billion regional languages to argue over. Instead, we just argue over two!


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