Remembering and Forgetting: Ideologies of Language Loss in a Northern Italian Town

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Abstract

Speakers' stories about language shift in Bergamo, a Northern Italian town, are reflective of larger sociocultural changes and negotiations over tradition. The article examines how Bergamasco residents conceptualize time to construct a past of poverty in contrast to a prosperous contemporary world, taking up various affective stances toward these socioeconomic and linguistic shifts. Nostalgia plays a central role in speakers' focus on certain socioeconomic shifts. Analyzing temporality in and through linguistic ideology, the article contributes to debates on language shift, cultural change, and socioeconomic transformation.

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