The Conundrum of Friulian Language Vitality

Date
2021-09
Authors
De Cia, Simone
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawaii Press
Volume
15
Number/Issue
Starting Page
375
Ending Page
410
Alternative Title
Abstract
Italy is characterized by a considerable amount of language variation. Only a few spoken vernaculars enjoy institutional support and are officially recognized as minority languages. Among these, Friulian is one of the largest in terms of number of speakers. In the past decade, the assessment of Friulian language vitality has yielded discordant conclusions. The aim of the present paper is to shed light on Friulian’s vitality by providing an informed discussion of the findings of the three most recent studies on the topic, namely De Cia (2013), Coluzzi (2015), and Melchior (2015). As a framework for discussion and means of synthesis among the different claims put forward on Friulian’s vitality, I will make reference to the nine factors of language vitality proposed by UNESCO (2003): each factor describes six possible sociolinguistic scenarios, which reflect six different levels of language vitality. Despite its official status and institutional support, Friulian lacks young native speakers and is used more and more infrequently in a limited number of social settings. The overall picture suggests that a marked process of language shift from Friulian to Italian is taking place. National and regional authorities should take immediate action to ensure the future survival of the minority language.
Description
Keywords
Friulian dialect, Italian language, Language and languages--Variation, Italian language--Variation, Friulian dialect--Social aspects
Citation
De Cia, Simone. 2021. The Conundrum of Friulian Language Vitality. Language Documentation & Conservation 15: 375-410.
Extent
36 pages
Format
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States
Rights Holder
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