Help us save the International Center for Dialectology at the University of Basilicata!
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Help us save the International Center for Dialectology at the University of Basilicata! This little known research center at a small university in southern Italy has been doing the thankless, but invaluable work of documenting and researching Italy's disappearing dialects. But under the pressure of the economic crisis brought on by Covid-19, the regional government of Basilicata is threatening to cut their budget.
Italy was once home to hundreds of dialects! These mini-languages were an important part of local cultures throughout the peninsula and its surrounding islands. But today these dialects are deeply endangered and could disappear within a generation, unless institutions like the International Center for Dialectology intervene.
For those of us of Italian American heritage, these dialects are part of our history, too. Whether we're talking about major language groups, like Sicilian and Neapolitan, or highly local varieties, our great grandparents came to this country speaking dialects.
And for us linguists, historians, and Italianists, dialects are an invaluable topic of study. The International Center for Dialectology is a scholarly treasure that should be protected at all costs. Let's raise our voices together and tell Governor Vito Bardi that we want the region of Basilicata to make the International Center for Dialcetology and the linguistic heritage of its people a budgetary priority!
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