LINGUIST List 15.785

Fri Mar 5 2004

Confs: Sociolinguistics/Italy

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  1. marina_u, International Conference on Minority Languages

Message 1: International Conference on Minority Languages

Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2004 09:39:19 -0500 (EST)
From: marina_u <>
Subject: International Conference on Minority Languages

International Conference on Minority Languages 
Short Title: X - ICML 

Date: 01-Jul-2005 - 02-Jul-2005
Location: Trieste, Italy
Contact: Marina Ussai
Contact Email: 
Meeting URL: 

Linguistic Sub-field: Sociolinguistics 

Meeting Description:

Minority languages in post-2004 Europe. Problems and challenges.

Trieste represented in the past a symbol of the multicultural Hapsburg
empire. But later on, during the Fascist regime, it also became a
symbol of ethnic and linguistic intolerance and nationalism. During
the Cold War, it was a peripheral border town between West and
East. It is now re-emerging as a meeting-point of diverse
ethno-linguistic environments, languages and societies. As Trieste has
to re-consider its own position and function in an enlarged Europe,
the ICML-X would like to re-think some basic considerations concerning
minority languages in the post-2004 Europe that will quite soon lead
towards a possible United Europe. Language is definitely one of the
basic discriminants of ethnic and national difference, its typology
and intensity of use indicates the dimension and the quality of
different cultural spaces, the success of its survival across
different generations, the vitality of language codes, its level of
social attraction and status.Emigration, social and political events
in Europe, especially in marginal areas or in those of cultural
contact, contributed substantially to radical changes of the original
language map creating multiethnic and multilanguage areas as well as
quite common variable identities.The big challenge for modern Europe
is to create social, economic, and political integration maintaining
cultural diversities and thus offering a new model of civilisation
that will not coincide with the Americanisation and the "melting
pot".This new European model will be tested and eventually come into
action in many European contact areas. Contact between different
nations, ethnic and linguistic communities, and the creation of rules
for coexistence and the preservation of cultural peculiarities are the
main issues.

The elimination of the last national, ethnic and linguistic "borders"
will imply a truly new idea, opposed to the traditional ethnocentric
conceit and social behaviour based on the exclusion of "others" and
"the different". It will be necessary to realise that among states
different ethnic, regional and linguistic identities exist, and that
the borders between them are everything but linear and definite.
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