Social scientific background
The issue of linguistic minorities and the collateral factors is overlapping in the field of linguistics and social sciences. Precisely, the field of linguistic anthropology concerns the different peoples and their languages. The field of linguistic anthropology is a social science that deals with different cultures, relations between them, and phenomena that derive from these differences. For the issue of minorities, it is a specific topic that relates to several principles of social sciences and delivers particular information about the institutes, values, and identities within a community. In the case of the research, the communities include non-Italian speaking minorities.
Moreover, sociolinguistics characterizes connections between large structures like state and local people who speak specific languages. This social science determines the influence of the social identity of a person or a group (such as citizen, foreigner, inhabitant) on their linguistic reality. In the case of linguistic minorities, it is essential to understand the social status and identity of these non-Italian speakers to convey the most relevant findings. Thus, the described issue is important for several social scientific areas.
The issue of linguistic minorities in Italy is relevant to the different audiences for specific reasons. For minorities’ members, it impacts the further development of the policies that protect them since they are currently declining. People who speak non-Italian languages are in danger of losing their identities due to the lack of support from the government for the promotion of diversity. Then, they would lose the connection with their ancestors and their history to become assimilated into the large Italian population. Recognizing the inefficiencies in the programs for language promotion can enhance the ability of these minorities to get to the government.
And, as research shows, there are people interested in supporting their language.Next, for state workers all around the work, the research is applicable for other reasons. Namely, multiculturalism should be addressed effectively; hence a country would conflict with its citizens. Acknowledging the advantages and disadvantages of different language policies would be beneficial for structuring different language programs. Finally, the issue is fruitful for research since it needs investigation every two to five years; then, scholars might receive funds to further investigate the problem. Therefore, the three different audiences can find the research attractive.
The evidence of the impact
Italy is an excellent choice for investigating the policies of linguistic minorities’ protection. Apart from Italian, the country’s citizens speak Albanian, Catalan, Croatian, French, Franco-Provencal, Friulian, German, Greek, Ladin, Occitan, Sardinian, and Slovenian languages are spoken by 5% of the whole population (Vizi, 2019). In the researches already provided, there is a variety of information about the current linguistic situation in Italy, which can be used for the comparative analysis of the policies. Yet, it is evident that some minorities have not yet gained success in promoting their native languages in Italy.
For example, the citation in the slide is representative of the struggle that minorities overcome.The given example is demonstrative of the situation that is similar in Europe and USA where language minorities are present. However, Italy has taken measures for protecting the minorities already, and these measures could be assessed; then, the experience of Italy could be extrapolated on other countries with minorities. Apparently, to characterize and produce new language policies, it is essential to derive the factors that contribute to the effectiveness of the programs. In the majority of the countries, the number of people who speak non-standard languages is even more significant than in Italy, which makes the issue of language policies of great importance.
Personal importance of the issue
For me, the issue is essential due to the fact that my ancestors were linguistic minorities. A generation ago, my relatives were primarily non-English speakers; yet, they lived in the Anglosphere and were forced to learn English for convenience and the ability to find a suitable position in the country. Even despite the fact that they were numerous speakers of languages other than English in the region, the government did not provide any effective policy for protecting their language. As a result, they lost their language, culture, and identity. I want to prevent a similar situation by investigating the specific sphere and extrapolating the results for different populations.
The study of a specific scientific topic constantly changes and complements a researcher’s system of values and views. I discovered this while studying linguistic minorities in Italy with social science methods and principles. I realized the importance of the lack of support for minorities in non-border regions, where other states, such as France or Switzerland with a Ladin-speaking minority, do not insist on their support. This situation allowed me to see the slow decay of minority languages due to the state’s lack of interest in their support. Thus, I have researched the issue to recognize its universality in the regions of the world and the tiny steps of governments for the solving of the problem.
Supporting the research with scientific justification gives it an evidence base that demonstrates the true importance of its arguments. Based on this, the thesis takes on a confirmed, finished form, allowing it to be used as a valid argument in the course of discourse. Evidence-supported research is thus testable and solid in its argumentation for further scientific transformation and citation in other works. The validity of scientific results follows from the definition of reliability and characterizes the presence of convincing evidence of the conducted research of the issue. Objective methods of confirming the reliability of the study, such as a comprehensive, objective analysis or verification, can lead to the greatest validity of the study. Thus, in its argumentation and thesis, the confirmed research is valid and complete, achieving this through objective analysis and verification.
Currently, the language minorities in Italy are numerous. As could be seen, some of the population that speaks languages other than Italian amounts to the number of a town. Such groups certainly should receive particular language programs that would allow them to keep their cultural identity. Nowadays, the Italian government provides policies for treating the issues of minorities. Thus, the issue is partially solved, yet some researches show that the programs declined. The number of languages spoken in Italy is immense; fortunately, the government attempted to resolve the problem.
The highly varied language minorities and policies applied could be researched and assessed to define the factors contributing to the differences in the effectiveness of the programs. Therefore, the populations that speak non-Italian languages can promote their languages and communicate with researchers through the median. Moreover, state workers can reflect on the issue in their countries to enhance the language minorities’ situation.
- Pipyrou, S. (2017). Suspended lives. Anthropology News, 58(6), e366–e370. Web.
- Vizi, B. (2019). Linguistic rights and small minority communities in Italy from Trento to Sicily. In F. Tanács-Mandák (Ed.), Identity Crisis in Italy (pp. 131–147). Dialóg Campus.
- Statista. (2021). Dialects spoken in Italy 2018, by number of speakers. Web.
- Steinicke, E., Walder, J., Löffler, R., & Beismann, M. (2018). Autochthonous linguistic minorities in the italian Alps. Revue de Géographie Alpine, 99–2. Web.