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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Conference Information



Full Title: Migrations: Linguistic Disease & Cultural Heritage

      
Short Title: GDL2012
Location: Teramo, Italy
Start Date: 06-Nov-2012 - 12-Nov-2012
Contact: Giovanni Agresti
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL: http://www.associazionelemitalia.org/le-nostre-azioni/giornate-dei-diritti-linguistici/gdl-2012.html
Meeting Description: The sixth edition of the International conference, Days of Linguistic Rights, (GDL 2012) will be focused on analyzing the migration phenomenon from the point of view of socio-linguistic and cultural relations among groups that came together and thrived mainly in Italy, but not exclusively! The groups being Italian, Albanian and Francophone Belgian. At the heart of these relations, lies the historical past and present region of Abruzzo: today a land of hospitality and receiver of Albanian migration, as those who founded Villa Badessa di Rosciano in 1743; today, in recent times it has turned out to be a land of departure, with intense emigration directed towards Europe, one of the main places being Belgium.

The quality of these relations depends on the fragile dialectics involved in the concept of integration, which to a great extent is itself conditioned by languages: the scarse, imperfect or imprecise possibility of mutual comprehension among the two (or more) communities living together can in fact lead to a sort of alienation (loss of identity in favour of the dominant model) within the immigrant community and on the other hand communitarianism (exasperation often forced by ones identity features as a self-defense reaction). Naturally, the problem of comprehension among groups is not strictly a linguistic problem, but has more to do with cultural, social and symbolic aspects upon which collective and subjective identity is built. Starting from these simple considerations, one initial aim of the 2012 GDL - which ends the cycle of DORIF conferences, on the relation between ‘Plurilinguism and the Professional World’ http://www.dorif.it/convegni.php, that began in Teramo itself in spring 2011 - will be to make a point about the theories, best practices and the professional elements regarding the field of inter-comprehension and dialogue between cultures in contact, with the participation of linguists, but also sociologists, cultural mediators, legal experts, institutional actors etc.

There is a need to develop an analysis within this structure, also in a historic-diachronic manner: the immigration/emigrations caused by conflicts of the past have in many cases transformed into fortunes, both, because of the improvement in the material conditions of human lives and entire communities and due to the birth of precious linguistic pockets. In fact today, often, these are not just extraordinary pockets of cultural diversity, but real treasure chests that conserve through time, material and immaterial cultural heritage that has been lost, destroyed or however transformed in the ‘motherland.’ It will be useful from this point of view - and strategic - to detect the forms, techniques and technology to reactivate the spread of social, cultural - but also economic and entrepreneurial - communication between the ‘motherland’ and ‘ex-colonies.’

Not an «inert mass» (Saussure) but «place of conflict» (Lafont): society, societies have always been swept across by linguistic-cultural contact phenomena and in this meeting/clash the subject and society itself can obtain different opportunities of growth. However it is important to question oneself thoroughly about the correct path and the correct manner of walking it.
Linguistic Subfield: Anthropological Linguistics; Applied Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics
LL Issue: 23.962


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