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Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication

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The new speakers of Lombard

Paolo Coluzzi
Published Online: 2018-09-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2018-0017


Lombard is one of the 12–15 non-recognized regional languages spoken in Italy. This article focuses on the new speakers of Lombard, i. e. people who have learned or are learning Lombard as a second language. Through an open questionnaire the author has probed into various aspects concerning these new speakers’ competence and learning trajectories, situations and opportunities for using the language, motivations, aims, commitment, metalinguistic awareness and the difficulties encountered in acquiring the language. Issues of authenticity, legitimacy and especially of identity and political allegiances have also been looked at. After a brief outline of the Lombard language and the research on new speakers that has been carried out so far, the article presents the methodology employed, followed by an analysis of the answers provided, which show that new speakers are very different from native speakers in sociolinguistic terms. A discussion of the results and some conclusions close the article.

Keywords: ethnonationalism; language planning; language revitalization; Lombard language; new speakers


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-09-04

Citation Information: Multilingua, ISSN (Online) 1613-3684, ISSN (Print) 0167-8507, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2018-0017.

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