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Mother Tongues and Other Reflections on the Italian Language Giulio Lepschy

Mother Tongues and Other Reflections on the Italian Language

Giulio Lepschy

Published December 28th 2002
ISBN : 9780802037299
Hardcover
152 pages
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 About the Book 

Italian is unique among modern European languages, for although it has a history going back eight centuries, it has only consolidated as a spoken national language during the twentieth century. Previously, it was a written, literary language, andMoreItalian is unique among modern European languages, for although it has a history going back eight centuries, it has only consolidated as a spoken national language during the twentieth century. Previously, it was a written, literary language, and people spoke regional dialects that were strikingly different from each other. This has intriguing implications for understanding notions such as mother tongue, native speaker, and literary language, and Giulio Lepschy discusses these and other issues in this collection of six scholarly essays on the Italian language.Lepschy also explores a little understood aspect of Italian prosody (the system of secondary stresses), and analyzes a Venetian play of the Renaissance, La Veniexiana, in which a gendered reading helps to clarify some grammatically controversial passages. These aspects of the play had been examined by Carlo Dionisotti, the eminent Italianist whose life and works are the subject of the final essay. Lepschys approach combines the insights of modern linguistic theory and the findings of fresh and original philological investigations. His essays will be essential to anyone interested in the Italian language.