Last February, I spent a few weeks in Sardinia (Italy) in order to carry out fieldwork in relation to a project on local language use. Sardinia is a very interesting example of linguistic variety within a relatively small island region (1.6m inhabitants). In addition to a number of dialects which are grouped around two main types of Sardinian, an officially recognised minority language in Italy, there are internal minorities, such as those represented by Catalan (spoken in Alghero in the north-west) and Tabarchino, a Ligurian variety (spoken on Carloforte and Calasetta in the south-west).
The data gathered from informants looks promising and I’m very grateful to the people I met for their invaluable contribution. Any work in Sociolinguistics would not be possible without human input, and on this as well as on previous occasions, Sardinians were very generous with their time and always passionate about their language and culture. Pride in all things Sardinian was shown by all my informants regardless of age or social standing, as it transpired from discussions with groups of youngsters.
I met one such group in a high school in the south-east of Sardinia and was warmly welcomed by staff and students alike. I was impressed by the way in which the study of local language and culture was integrated into the national curriculum and full of admiration for the dedicated teachers.
I’ll be going back to Sardinia for more enlightening and stimulating discussions in beautiful settings, but in the meantime gratzias meda to all!