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Grant number like: FT-54332-06

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Jillian R. Cavanaugh
CUNY Research Foundation, Brooklyn College (Brooklyn, NY 11210-2850)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2006 – 7/31/2006

Speaking of Modern Values: Language Ideologies and Social Aesthetics in Northern Italy

My project analyzes a modern iteration of the ‘questione della lingua,’ or language issue, in Bergamo, a northern Italian town. It demonstrates that although members of this community symbolically associate the two languages in use—their local dialect, Bergamasco, and the national standard, Italian—with potentially conflicting and ranked values and norms, most local people use both languages in their everyday lives. To explore these tensions, I focus on how speakers value Italian and Bergamasco for different social and aesthetic reasons. I embed my analysis of the present within the context of a deep historical past and incorporate a broadly humanistic perspective to focus on a range of linguistic and literary genres.