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Vanishing Languages in Context

Ideological, Attitudinal and Social Identity Perspectives

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Edited By Martin Pütz and Neele Mundt

This volume grew out of the 36 th International LAUD Symposium, which was held in March 2014 at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Landau, Germany. There is general consensus among language experts that slightly more than half of today’s 7,000 languages are under severe threat of extinction even within fifty to one hundred years. The 13 papers contained in this volume explore the dramatic loss of linguistic diversity, why this matters, and what can be done and achieved to document and support endangered languages especially in the context of an ever increasing globalized world. The issue of vanishing languages is discussed from a variety of methodologies and perspectives: sociolinguistics, language ecology, language contact, language policy/planning, attitudes and linguistic inequalities.
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Anna Ghimenton & Giovanni Depau - Ideologies and expressed attitudes in Internet: Comparing ethnic identities in two regional communities (Veneto and Sardinia)

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Anna Ghimenton

Université Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle

Giovanni Depau

Université Grenoble-Alpes

Ideologies and expressed attitudes in Internet: Comparing ethnic identities in two regional communities (Veneto and Sardinia)1

Abstract Although Italian is nowadays the national language shared by all Italians, regional languages still have a wide diffusion within the local communities. The Italian government has recognized Sardinian as a minority language (National Law 482 1999) whereas Veneto does not enjoy official acknowledgment. In this paper, we aim to (1) assess expressed language attitudes in computer-mediated communication (CMC) considering different language policy scenarios in Italy and (2) describe apparent differences and relate these to current and future language vitality. To do so, we investigate the relations between linguistic ideologies and community identity through the observation of expressed attitudes found within the public sphere, in open Internet forums and on public sites such as Youtube. The observations from this comparative study provide some analytical tools for the assessment of language endangerment and show how CMC reflects folk perceptions on language usage and multilingualism.

Keywords: attitudes; computer-mediated communication; endangerment; identity; ideology; Italian; minority language; Sardinian; Veneto; vitality

1. Introduction

In the last few decades, considerable effort has been made to promote language diversity and, consequently, language maintenance. More specifically, in the European context, issues of promoting language minorities fill an important part of the political and economic agenda (cf. Berthoud et al. 2013). In...

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