Edited by Francesc Feliu and Olga Fullana
[IVITRA Research in Linguistics and Literature 20] 2019
► pp. 228–241
Strategies for conservation of a minority language
Between convergence and hybridization
The Arbëresh linguistic varieties constitute a rich field of investigation for interesting phenomena of language attrition and contact. Because of the ancient and prolonged situation of bilingualism between Albanian and Italo-Romance varieties an interesting set of phenomena of code-switching, loan, convergence and hybridization has presented itself.
This research concerns the Arbëresh linguistic minority of Greci, a small town in the Campanian region of southern Italy. Within Arbëria, the widespread archipelago of Albanian-speaking communities which occupies a vast territory in southern Italy, the preservation of Arbëresh presents very different sociolinguistic situations. Inside Arbëria Greci occupies a geographically isolated position and up to the 1960’s arbëresh was flourishing in the community.
Today Greci is transitioning through a difficult period from socio-economic, cultural, and linguistic points of view. Nevertheless Arbëresh has still a good hold with adults and elderly speakers, although decline was detected among some younger speakers.