My PhD project deals with the topics of multilingualism and identity construction among the Cimbrian minority groups in Lusern (Trentino) and Giazza (Veneto), focusing on the Italian variety spoken by the Cimbrians in the context of their multilingual repertoire. The aim of the project is to investigate the language change induced by the language contact situation and the resulting influence of Cimbrian on the Italian variety of Cimbrian speakers. In order to additionally account for sociolinguistic circumstances, the linguistic production data will be supplemented by qualitative guided interviews to facilitate an improved understanding of the effects of multilingualism on identity construction as it relates to Cimbrian group identification, individual language biographies and language attitudes. I aim to assess whether a continuity can be established between the decline of Cimbrian and the development of a new variety in Italian due to the transfer of originally Cimbrian characteristics into the Italian variety. I will explore to what extent and how his is expressed on the level of language production in the form of a distinct Italian variety spoken by Cimbrians, on the level of language perception with meta-linguistic correlates in speakers’ consciousness, as well as within social correlates in identity.
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Thomas Krefeld (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Prof. Dr. Stefan Rabanus (Università degli Studi di Verona)
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