Veranstaltung:

22 Mar 2022
17:15  - 19:00

Ort:
Maiengasse 51, Basel

Veranstalter:
Seminar für Iberoromanistik

Öffentliche Veranstaltung, Gastvorlesung / Vortrag

«Piedmontese as a Heritage Language in Argentina: structural and sociolinguistic issues»

Prof. Eugenio Goria (Università degli studi di Torino, Italia)

Piedmontese is an Italo-Romance variety spoken as a minority language in Piedmont, a North-Western region of Italy. A variety of Piedmontese has also been spoken for more than a century in several migrant communities of Argentina, mostly in the provinces of Córdoba and Santa Fe. Immigration from Piedmont towards this area started in the end of XIX century, in the framework of Argentina’s agricultural development plan, which involved the foundation of agricultural colonies almost exclusively populated by migrant workforce. A vast majority of migrants in this area was of Piedmontese origin and had Piedmontese dialect as their native language, while Italian was virtually absent from the linguistic repertoire of the pre-World War II working class. Therefore, Piedmontese acquired the status of the main language of communication in these rural colonies and, according to the existing testimonies, it was learned also by the local Argentinian population and by migrants from other regions.

In this talk will present the results that have emerged from a fieldwork enquiry that I conducted in the Piedmontese communities of Argentina in 2019. In the first part, I will analyse the linguistic practices of the community, that still involve Piedmontese, showing how language shift has been counterbalanced over the last decades by a process of cultural revival, whose main actors are both Argentinian and Italian institutions. In the second part, I will address the structural features of heritage Piedmontese. Contact with Spanish is obviously the main source of structural changes in Piedmontese: along with morphological interference (e.g. in the sysyem of auxiliaries), frequent code-mixing of the insertional type has changed heritage Piedmontese into a code-mixing style, or fused lect in terms of Auer (1999, 2014), with systematic use of Spanish vocabulary. However, there are other innovations for which other explanations beyond contact-induced change are needed: I  will propose to analyse them in terms of contact between different sub-regional varieties of Piedmontese, and hence possibly koineisation.


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