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ECMI Minorities Blog. Francophone, Francophile, and Gallo-Romance peripheries in Piedmont and the Aosta Valley

Mattia Bottino

The blog post discusses the linguistic and cultural peculiarities of Piedmont and the Aosta Valley, two regions that have historically straddled France and Italy. It provides a brief historical linguistic overview of the development of Gallo-Romance languages (French, Franco-Provençal, and Occitan) in these regions. The piece describes the Francophile and Francophone orientation of Piedmont throughout its history, as well as the belated introduction of Tuscan (Italian). It stresses the singularity of Piedmontese, and its close linguistic relation to neighbouring Gallo-Romance languages. Against this background, the text assesses the current state and vitality of Franco- and Gallo-Romance peripheries within the borders of Italy, and explains how such identities have evolved, been reshaped or become politicized. Primordialist and constructivist perspectives on national (and minority) identities are combined to better understand the development, decay, and reconfiguration of linguistic and cultural identities in Piedmont and the Aosta Valley.

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Senior Researcher Felix Schulte Explores Territorial Autonomy and Ethnic Conflict Resolution at Åland Islands Peace Institute

In a recent visit to the Åland Islands Peace Institute, Senior Researcher Felix Schulte addressed members of the Åland regional parliament and presented his research at the Institute's research seminar.

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ECMI Senior Researcher Andreea Cârstocea's Crucial Role in Crafting OSCE High Commissioner's Recommendations

In a significant milestone, Andreea Cârstocea, an ECMI senior researcher, played a pivotal role in the development of the Recommendations on the Effective Participation of National Minorities in Social and Economic Life. The recommendations were officially launched on 24 October during the 30th Anniversary Conference of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

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ECMI Minorities Blog. From Acquisition to Activation: How Language Planning Can Promote New Speakers’ Minority Language Use

Ruth Kircher & Mirjam Vellinga

New speakers (individuals acquiring minority languages outside the home, typically later on in life) can make important contributions to minority language revitalisation. However, this can only happen if they become active and frequent users of the minority languages they have learnt. In many contexts, this is not the case. Taking Frisian in Fryslân as a case study, this blog post examines new speakers’ activation (the process by which they become active and habitual minority language users) – focusing specifically on how this is affected by traditional minority language speakers’ behaviours. The findings highlight how the complex dynamics between traditional and new speakers can hinder the latter’s activation. The blog post discusses the implications of these findings, concluding that there is a need for prestige planning to ameliorate intergroup relations – and thereby foster new speakers’ activation and promote minority language revitalisation.

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