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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Position of the Sammarinese Dialects in the Romagnol Linguistic Group Add Dissertation
Author: Alexander Michelotti Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Toronto, Department of Italian Studies
Completed in: 2008
Linguistic Subfield(s): Historical Linguistics; Language Documentation; Morphology; Phonetics; Phonology;
Subject Language(s): Emiliano-Romagnolo
Director(s): Marcel Danesi
Yves Roberge
Gianrenzo Clivio
Francesco Guardiani

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.