Purists, neo-purists and anti-purists: attitudes to foreign words in Italian

8f71921e-8f7c-43f3-9a7b-7e41dbea2cedMirna Cicioni (Monash University) will give a talk in English, ‘Purists, neo-purists & anti-purists: foreign words in Italian from the fascist ‘language campaigns’ to 2015′, at the RISM seminar to be held at the Italian Cultural Institute, 233 Domain Road, South Yarra, Melbourne on Thursday 9 April at 6.30pm. The talk’s starting-point is the linguist Valeria Della Valle’s documentary Me ne frego! Il fascismo e la lingua italiana (directed by Vanni Gandolfo, 2014), which shows how between 1929 and 1943 linguists and journalists close to the Fascist government participated in various campaigns for what was then called l’autarchia della lingua.

It then discusses several 21st-century publications which express concern that contemporary Italian may be “flooded” and “swamped” by foreign words, most of which are thought “unnecessary” and “snobbish”. Her analysis is based on theories of lexical borrowing and on attempts to assess the actual use and comprehension of words from other languages by Italian speakers.

Dr Mirna Cicioni is currently working as a freelance community interpreter. She has taught Italian at La Trobe University and Monash University and has published widely on Primo Levi and other post-WWII Italian Jewish writers.

Admittance is free; light refreshments will be served.
Bookings essential: bookings to be made here.

Please note priority will be given to IIC Members


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