September 30, 2015

Public lecture on semiotics and multilingualism in Italy

Simone Casini (a postdoc at the Università per Stranieri di Siena) is giving a talk (sponsored by the Emilio Goggio Chair in Italian Studies) on language-contact and semiotics in Italian cities. It is open to the public and free of charge. The time is 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Thursday, October 1, in 406 Carr Hall. Please RSVP by emailing A reception will follow.

“The Neomultilingualism in Italy: the Visibility and Impact in Urban Linguistic Landscapes”

The report examine the semiotics visibility of language contact and outlines the results of a research developed at the Centre of Excellence of the University for Foreigners of Siena on linguistic urban landscapes. The models of survey and the analysis of neomultilingualism are based on the distinction between semiotics and sociolinguistics 'migrant languages' and 'immigrant languages'. The latter term refers to the ability to define semiotically the language space in which they insist, are collected and analyzed on the basis of their visibility and viability in real contexts of communication. 

The streets, squares, markets etc. represented the linguistic urban contexts of communication or rather the context of communication in which are recognized linguistic habits that result in notices on signs, on shop windows, on billboards, on the menus of restaurants, as well as in all other forms of interaction and contact between Italian and other languages.

In this perspective, the language faces of Italian cities appear undergoing evolutionary pressures due to new idiomatic subjects that establish a competitive relationship marking the symbolic space and that are evidence of a renewed national multilingual identity, a real neomultilingualism of Italian linguistic space.

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