Chapter published in:Contested Languages: The hidden multilingualism of Europe
Edited by Marco Tamburelli and Mauro Tosco
[Studies in World Language Problems 8] 2021
► pp. 209–220
Publishing a grammar and literature anthology of a contested language
An experience of crowdfunding
The present essay reports the experience of applying a web-based system of fundraising such as crowdfunding to publish a textbook for a local language (the variety of Piedmontese spoken in Biella and its neighbourhood). Piedmontese is classified as an endangered language whose number of speakers is steadily decreasing. Conversely, the mean age of speakers is increasing. Crowdfunding was chosen as a fundraising system with the aim of supporting the publication of a Piedmontese grammar and anthology. The campaign was launched on the crowdfunding platform Produzioni dal Basso on 2 September and terminated on 31 December 2015. The appeal was posted at weekly intervals on the social network Facebook starting from the day of the campaign launch. Pages specific for users with interest in Piedmontese were chosen for spreading the news. The appeal was spread also via private messages whenever possible. Meanwhile, the news was also published several times in dedicated articles by newspapers. The positive feedback by the supporters, who received copies of the book in return for contributions of a certain size, ensured the actual publication of the grammar in December 2017. In conclusion, an up-to-date system, such as that offered by the online crowdfunding platform, combined with the possibility of spreading the appeal through social networks, gained an unexpected positive feedback from the public and was able to attract the interest of a number of potential readers of the proposed text book.
Published online: 21 January 2021
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