This study explores the linguistic perception and identity of a group of Italian speakers in the multilingual town of Bozen (South Tyrol). This area presents indeed many peculiarities for the investigation of language attitudes and linguistic minorities. As a matter of fact, South Tyrol belonged to Austria until 1918, when he was united to the Italian kingdom, and then strongly Italianised under the Fascismus in the ’20s and ‘30s. Nowadays, South Tyrol is officially trilingual (Italian, German, and Ladin in the valleys), with German as the main language of the whole area, and Italian speakers concentrate in the main towns, e.g. Bozen. Moreover, in Bozen a distinction can be made between German and Italian districts, due to the socio-political history of the town. This work aims to emphasize how the different distribution of languages within the town of Bozen strongly influences speakers’ perception of and attitude towards Italian and German. This is the first analysis of this sort ever taken up in Bozen, and it is based on a corpus of 42 interviews collected between October 2011 and March 2012, by using a discoursive Folk Linguistic approach (Preston 2011). The data show how speakers of the Italian districts show a negative attitude towards German spoken in South Tyrol, by defining this variety with colourful terms such as dialetaccio schifoso “bad creepy dialect”. Moreover, many speakers consider Italian as a linguistic minority in South Tyrol, even if German is usually considered to be a minority language at a national level. This belief is clearly expressed in some interviews, for instance in the speech of a woman from the Italian district of Don Bosco, who loudly states: Io sono una minoranza. Noi siamo una minoranza “I am a minority. Noi siamo una minoranza”. Thus, this work on speakers’ language attitudes seems to endorse the hypothesis that a dynamic of segregation between the two linguistic groups is still present in Bozen, or at least in some districts of the town. Moreover, this segregation condition affects people’s linguistic perception of the linguistic “other”, and may negatively influences the acquisition of the other group’s language, at least for the Italian speakers.
Two groups, two worlds: Italian and German in Bozen, South Tyrol / C. Meluzzi - In: Marginalization Processes across Different Settings: Going Beyond the Mainstream / [a cura di] S. Bagga-Gupta. - [s.l] : Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017. - ISBN 9781527503298. - pp. 308-334
|Titolo:||Two groups, two worlds: Italian and German in Bozen, South Tyrol|
|Parole Chiave:||sociolinguistics; linguistic perception; language attitude|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore L-LIN/01 - Glottologia e Linguistica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Tipologia:||Book Part (author)|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in volume|