The first School will be held in Cagliari (Italy) from 13 to 24 June 2016. Paraphrasing what has been said for other disciplines, there are plenty of important studies on languages in the Mediterranean, but there are very few, or indeed none, which are actually about Mediterranean languages. The LLM School aims to fill the need to use an empirical approach to examine the product of thousands of years of language contact in this unique geo-anthropic context and to analyse these results from a 'holistic' but anti-essentialist perspective which does not adhere to any preconstituted theory.
Within this framework, the Language Description courses (from a structural and/or typological point of view) are of great importance. Particular attention will be paid to non-standard dialects and varieties in general for two main reasons: firstly because they are generally less well known, but also due to the fact that they represent a fuller and more nuanced phenomenology of language contact, which has not been affected (or is less affected) by the language policies of the established state-communities.
The linguistics courses offer a comprehensive overview of studies on the languages of the Mediterranean. Various theoretical approaches will be proposed to deal with the problems of language contact, especially in the historical and diachronic dimension. Indeed, partly because the spread of writing in the Mediterranean region dates back to extremely ancient times, the region offers an extremely rich and extensive linguistic tradition, which is both long-lasting and genetically differentiated. Therefore, the Mediterranean is a privileged observatory for historical-diachronic studies of relatively long periods. On this occasion, the focus will be placed on the Latin Romance linguistic tradition.
The Mediterranean: An agelong language-contact laboratory.
Since time immemorial the Mediterranean basin and the neighbouring regions in Europe, Asia and Africa have provided an area where peoples, cultures and languages of rather diverse character meet, influence each other and sometimes even fuse.
The migrations of today have a long list of predecessors which have shaped the Mediterranean as the cultural mosaic it is at present. These contacts are relatively richly documented in contemporary historiography and related disciplines. However, there is still no comprehensive account of what has happened on the linguistic side of the Mediterranean “melting pot”.
Knowledge of languages, multilingualism and borrowings have been important throughout the entire history of the Mediterranean where migrations and changing borders have always raised the question of integration via language.