Chapter published in:Positioning the Self and Others: Linguistic perspectives
Edited by Kate Beeching, Chiara Ghezzi and Piera Molinelli
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 292] 2018
► pp. 263–283
Orthography as an identity marker
The case of bilingual road signs in the province of Bergamo
This chapter focuses on the introduction of road signs displaying both the Italian and the local Italo-Romance dialect (Bergamasco) version of place-names by some municipal authorities in the province of Bergamo (in Northern Italy). I will argue that the decision to consider the local Bergamasco dialect eligible for public display carries social and political meaning. Bilingual road signs will be shown to challenge the traditional distinction between ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ items of the linguistic landscape (Landry and Bourhis 1997: 25). Through the analysis of the graphic solutions adopted in order to write a language used almost exclusively up until now in the spoken form (i.e. the local Bergamasco dialect), I will offer a few observations on the significance of orthographic variation and on the symbolic, identity-related, value of spelling choices.
Keywords: orthography, Bergamasco dialect, road signs, spelling choices, identity
Published online: 17 July 2018
Ben-Rafael, Eliezer, Muhammad Hasan Amara, and Nira Trumper-Hecht
2015 “La Guerra della <s> e della <z> a Luserna. Il valore iconico dell’ortografia nel processo di standardizzazione di una varietà alloglotta germanica in Italia.” In Elaborazione ortografica delle varietà non standard. Esperienze spontanee in Italia e all’estero, ed. by Silvia Dal Negro, Federica Guerini, and Gabriele Iannàccaro, 119–134. Bergamo: Sestante.
Cavanaugh, Jillian R.
De Mauro, Tullio
Grassi Corrado, Alberto Sobrero, and Tullio Telmon
Guerini, Federica, and Silvia Dal Negro
Landry, Rodrigue, and Richard Y. Bourhis
Le Page, Robert, and Andrée Tabouret-Keller
Provincia di Bergamo
2011 IX Rapporto sull’Immigrazione Straniera. Annuario Statistico Anno 2010 On-line version. [http://www.provincia.bergamo.it/Provpor/provBgViewEditorialNewsProcessWAI.jsp?editorialID=123 237&nocache=1474326225] (Last access: September 2015).
Scollon, Ron, and Suzie Wong Scollon
Cited by 1 other publications
No author info given
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