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LINGUIST List 19.1828

Sun Jun 08 2008

Diss: Lang Documentation/Morphology/Phonology: Michelotti: 'The Pos...'

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        1.    Alexander Michelotti, The Position of the Sammarinese Dialects in the Romagnol Linguistic Group

Message 1: The Position of the Sammarinese Dialects in the Romagnol Linguistic Group
Date: 07-Jun-2008
From: Alexander Michelotti <alex.michelottiutoronto.ca>
Subject: The Position of the Sammarinese Dialects in the Romagnol Linguistic Group
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Institution: University of Toronto
Program: Department of Italian Studies
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Alexander Michelotti

Dissertation Title: The Position of the Sammarinese Dialects in the Romagnol Linguistic Group

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
                            Language Documentation

Subject Language(s): Emiliano-Romagnolo (eml)

Dissertation Director:
Gianrenzo P. Clivio
Marcel Danesi
Francesco Guardiani
Yves Roberge

Dissertation Abstract:

Although Italo-Romance varieties continue to be documented, classified, and
analyzed by dialectologists, many are at risk of not being recorded
thoroughly and systematically before their imminent extinction. While
considerable attention has been devoted to the phonetics, phonology,
morphosyntax, and lexicon of the more archetypal Romagnol dialects spoken
in the Po Valley, dialectologists have largely overlooked peripheral
Romagnol varieties such as Sammarinese. The present dissertation begins to
fill this lacuna in Italian dialectology by providing an historical and
synchronic study of Sammarinese phonology and morphology based on the
examination of old and modern texts as well as copious oral data.

The main purpose of the thesis is to delineate diatopic variation within
the tiny Republic through comparative analysis, while also addressing the
need for a more complete and precise definition of Sammarinese's position
in the Romagnol linguistic group. In addition to confirming Sammarinese's
status as a Borderline Romagnol variety, the dissertation offers evidence
that Sammarinese is divided geographically into two main dialectal groups:
Northeastern and Southwestern. The secondary intent of the thesis is to
provide systematic, comprehensive, and phonetically precise documentation
of the phonology and morphology of a moribund language.

The dissertation consists of five chapters. The Introduction includes a
brief linguistic history which relates diatopic variation to geopolitical
factors. The first chapter also contributes an assessment of the status of
scholarship dedicated to Sammarinese dialectology. Chapter 2 examines
diachronic phonetics, emphasizing the dichotomy between the traits which
link Southwestern Sammarinese to Borderline Romagnol and those which join
Northeastern Sammarinese with the Romagnol varieties of the Po Valley.
Chapter 3 treats synchronic phonetics and proposes a generative phonology
which aims to identify the diasystem underlying phonetic variation within
the Republic. Chapter 4 analyzes historical declensional morphology,
underscoring diatopic variation in internal flexion configurations as
further evidence of the division between Northeastern and Southwestern
Sammarinese. Chapter 5 examines diachronic verb morphology. The
dissertation concludes with an assessment of linguistic aspects meriting
further research and analysis.

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