This inaugural volume in a new Legenda series offers an overview of current research in Italian linguistics by specialists in Great Britain. Topics range from the formation, present state and future prospects of Italian dialects, to the notion of 'standard' in the context of the European tradition. Further contributions cover the different strands of Renaissance Italian, the problem of language death, and the presence of Italian as lingua franca in the Mediterranean area. Research into contemporary language includes gender issues in Italian lexicography, and the ambivalent 'politically correct' forms referring to minorities. The volume concludes with studies on the translation of legal texts and on the status accorded to different languages within the European Union. The book, published with the support of the Italian Cultural Institute, London, will be invaluable for university students of Italian or of linguistics and will provide a comprehensive survey for all interested in the Italian language and its history.
Anna Laura Lepschy is Visiting Professor at the Universities of Reading and Toronto, Emeritus Professor at University College London, and Vice-President of the Associazione Internazionale per gli Studi di Lingua e Letteratura Italiana. ARTURO TOSI is Professor of Italian at Royal Holloway, University of London, and Visiting Professor of Sociolinguistics at the Università degli Studi di Siena.
‘A wide-ranging but coherent discussion of some central questions regarding the formation and present state of the Italian language itself, its varieties and its relationship with dialects. This important book contains twelve essays, ranging chronologically from Renaissance elites to the European Union.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies XL.1, 2004, 113
‘Clear and instructive, suitable both for scholars looking for some of the latest research in Italian linguistics, and for a more general readership interested in exploring some of the central questions in the history and development of the Italian language, a topic of enduring interest and endless fascination. Particularly rewarding are the sections devoted to Italian dialects, often left by the wayside in general discussions of the Italian language.’ — Luigi Bonaffini, Forum Italicum 37/2, Fall 2003, 582-4
‘Offers a stimulating reading on central questions in Italian linguistics ... For the range of topics examined and the accessibility of the contributions, this volume will be a useful tool for students, teachers, and researchers, and in general for everyone interested in the Italian language, while exemplifying the liveliness and high level of research in the field of Italian linguistics in the UK.’ — Helena Sanson, Modern Language Review 100.1, 2005, 228-9 (full text online)
‘There can be no doubt that the majority of these papers will indeed be understood by the non-expert. Their authors manage to explain notions, situations, and developments, some of them obviously complex, with a simplicity and clarity which will be satisfying and illuminating to those with a non-specialist interest. But they do not fail either to bring in new ideas and research which offer food for thought to specialists in Italian linguistics and linguistics history.’ — Howard Moss, Italian Studies Volume LIX, 2004, 192-4