RESEARCHING MULTILINGUALLY University of Manchester, 22-23 May 2012 Searching for translation: languagecommensurability among the Greek linguistic minority of South Italy Dr Stavroula Pipyrou Department of Anthropology Durham University
Grecanici of South Italy The Greek Linguistic Minority (Grecanici) in Calabria, South Italy
Multilingual Subjects Grecanici speak: Grecanico (also termed ‘Grico’ or ‘Greco’), comprised of archaic Doric, Hellenistic, Byzantine as well as local Romanic and Italian linguistic elements Local Calabrian dialect Official Italian language Welcome to the Grecanico village of Galliciano, written in Grecanico
Researching Multilingually THE SUBJECTS THE RESEARCHER GRECANICO MODERN GREEK CALABRIAN DIALECT ENGLISH OFFICIAL ITALIAN OFFICIAL ITALIAN NB: Greeks can not understand Grecanico!
Language and Identity Grecanico language is central to political claims Pivotal role in shaping the ‘politics of difference’ Victimised language / Triumphant language Grecanici civil society ‘saving the language’
Language and Historical Constructivism: 2Theories A) Ancient Doric and Hellenistic elements preserved from Ancient Greek conquests (supported by Karl Witte, Gerhard Rohlfs and Anastasios Karanastasis) B) The ‘Morosi hypothesis’: Grecanico is corrupted Byzantine-Greek remaining from relocations during the Byzantine and Norman eras Ancient vs. Byzantine
Law n. 482/1999 and Sportelli Linguistici 1999: Right for minority languages to be used in education, meetings and administration, judicial system, toponyms and in the media From 2004: Sportelli Linguistici, the official mediator between the Grecanici and the Provincia. The Sportelli Linguistici are cultural and information centres that organise promotional activities such as topical conferences, seminars and educational programmes
Researching Multilingually: KinshipTerminologies Problems of interpretation, translation, contextualisation, cohesion, and epistemology Kinship terminologies employed in different languages to identify different relationships Two different kinship systems identified through two languages – can only be identified through a multilingual approach yenía and razza
First Cousins … First cousins zzetreffádde are classified into: Parallel patrilateral (paralleli patrilaterali). They form a special category of blood kin. They are also known as cousins of blood (cugini di sangue), cousins of first blood (cugini di primo sangue), real cousins (cugini veri). Older people also employ the term cousin-brothers thus denoting the superior position of the patrilateral cousin in the kinship structure. The patrilateral cousin is ‘more than a cousin’, he is like a brother Parallel matrilateral (paralleli matrilaterali). They are the children of two leddade (sisters in Grecanico) also known as cousins of milk (cugini di latte) Cross cousins (cugini incrociati). These are conceptualised as ‘just cousins’
Who is Uncle …??? Distinctions between uncles: The father’s brothers are ‘real uncles’ but father’s sisters are not ‘real aunties’. “I respect the brother of my father as if he is my father”. Mother’s brothers and father’s sisters are not as important These distinctions can only be identified through a multilingual approach
Another distinction is between anispádiaand angónia The Grecanico term anispío and anispía refers to brother’s/sister’s son and bother’s/sister’s daughter respectively The Grecanico term angóni and angónissa refers to the daughter’s/son’s son and daughter’s/son’s daughter respectively The Italian language does not allow for a distinction between the two classes of kin. The Italian term nipote signifies both the above relations
Singení and Singénissa These refer to wife’s/husband’s brother and wife’s/husband’s sister. The other terms used by Grecanici, cognato and cognata, refer to sister’s husband and brother’s wife. These are four distinct terms for four distinct relationships Things are complicated when younger generations prefer to use only the Italian term cognato and cognata to denote all above relations Bilateral or Patrilateral Kinship?
Researching Multilingually: Researching Multilingually depends on trust Code-switching is always a possibility (changes not only in language but primarily in discourse) Grecanico, Calabrian dialect and Italian – different discourses required different performatives A discourse of secrecy and trust is mostly conveyed in Grecanico when non-Grecanici speakers are present Language is part of a knotted relation of friendship, status and trust
Translation and Publication … THE SUBJECTS THE RESEARCHER GRECANICO MODERN GREEK CALABRIAN DIALECT ENGLISH OFFICIAL ITALIAN OFFICIAL ITALIAN NB: Greeks can not understand Grecanico!