Italian and Italians in St. Louis: a sociolinguistics analysis

Auteur Stefania Forlani
Directeur /trice Bruno Moretti, Istituto di Lingua e Letteratura italiana, University of Bern
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s) Hermann Haller, CUNY https://www.gc.cuny.edu/Page-Elements/Academics-Research-Centers-Initiatives/Doctoral-Programs/Comparative-Literature/Faculty-Bios/Hermann-Haller
Résumé de la thèse The linguistics situation of Italian Americans whose ancestors originated in northern Italy has not been studied in much depth, probably because immigration from those regions was numerically much inferior compared to that from the south. However, in St. Louis and the nearby towns in Illinois there is a strong presence of Italian Americans whose roots come from the Mandamento of Cuggiono (province of Milan). Between 1880 and 1920 the emigration phenomenon from this area was particularly intense, as described in Mormino 2002, so that in 2003 the city of St. Louis proclaimed the 19th of July “Cuggiono day”. The aim of my investigation would be to study the status of the Italian language among Americans of Italian descent in St. Louis and the surrounding area. What is their knowledge of the Italian language? What attitude do they have towards it and towards the dialect? Is Italian an ethnicity marker? When did the language shift happen? To solve these questions I would create a sociolinguistics questionnaire and interview a group of approximately 50 people in St. Louis and in the nearby towns, recruiting them with the help of local Italians associations and clubs. Ideally, I would need to meet the participants in person to record their spoken Italian in order to be able to analyze it.
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URL http://itastl.stefaniaforlani.se/
LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/stefaniaforlani