THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE IN THE CANTON OF GRISONS (SWITZERLAND) IN THE ASPECT OF SOCIOLINGUISTIC AND METHODOLOGICAL STUDY

Maria A. Smirnova
Military University of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Russian Federation

Abstract

The article analyses the complex sociolinguistic situation around the Italian language in the Swiss canton of Grisons. Even though country-wide all four languages, mentioned in the Constitution of the Swiss Confederation, are recognized as equal and national (not to be confused with official languages), de facto Grisons is the only canton where trilingualism (German, Romansh, Italian) is established institutionally. However, the Italian-speaking minority accounts for only 14 % of the total population, which makes it an absolute minority after the Romansh one at the cantonal level. The main focus of the article is placed on the concept of Italian Switzerland and the place Grisons occupies within the Italian speaking community; the legislative regulation of multilingualism and its effects on the diffusion and promotion of the Italian language; the statistical data concerning the distribution of the Italian language and specific linguistic situations in some cantonal municipalities; the typological characteristics of the Italian language and the possible presence of interfering phenomena related to the influence of the German-speaking and Romansh-speaking environment. Close attention is also paid to the review of scientific and other information sources who`s study could contribute to further linguistic analysis of the Swiss variants of the Italian language, the Grisons Italian in particular. A separate consideration is dedicated to the dictionaries and glossaries of Italian helvetisms. Finally, the article is concluded with the description of the activities of the Pro Grigioni Association and the citation of some scientific and educational electronic resources and tools available to anyone interested in the Italian language in Switzerland.

Keywords: Italian language, Italian dialects, Italian Switzerland, sociolinguistics, multilingualism, linguistic identity, language contact

For citation: Smirnova M.A. The Italian language in the Canton of Grisons (Switzerland) in the aspect of sociolinguistic and methodological study. Sociolinguistic Studies, 2020, no. 4(4) [online], pp. 88–102. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.37892/2713-2951-2020-4-4-88-102