Studies in honor of Eddo Rigotti
Edited By Giovanni Gobber and Andrea Rocci
Sabine Christopher, Bruno Moretti, Elena Maria Pandolfi, Barbara Somenzi: Intercomprehension and receptive skills in Italian for enhancing the individual’s multilingual repertoire in quadrilingual Switzerland
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Intercomprehension and receptive skills in Italian for enhancing the individual’s multilingual repertoire in quadrilingual Switzerland
SABINE CHRISTOPHER, Osservatorio linguistico della Svizzera italiana; BRUNO MORETTI, University of Berne; ELENA MARIA PANDOLFI, Osservatorio linguistico della Svizzera italiana & BARBARA SOMENZI, Pädagogische Hochschule Zürich
1. The sociolinguistic context of quadrilingual Switzerland
1.1 Societal and individual plurilingualism
The Swiss linguistic landscape is characteristic not only because of the number of languages present in a relatively small territory (German, French, Italian and a set of Rhaeto-Romance varieties, ordered by numbers of speakers), but also because of the status of official language of the first three and of semi-official language of the latter1. In spite of the difference in numbers of speakers, the Swiss Constitution attributes German, French and Italian equal status. Moreover, within the four linguistic communities, a variety of dialects are used in everyday conversation. In the German-speaking part, the diglossic situation is quite distinctive in as much as the numerous dialectal varieties enjoy a very high level of prestige and are used regularly in public debates and in the media.
The Swiss Confederation is undoubtedly characterized by institutional and societal plurilingualism. However, the multilingual repertoire of the individual in the different language territories may vary a great deal.
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The legislation demands the promotion of comprehension and exchange between the linguistic communities by means of a series of language policy measures, such as...
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