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PhD project: Italian and Italians in St. Louis: a sociolinguistics analysis

Do you know that 4 millions of emigrants left Italy for the United States during the mass emigration era (1890 – 1920)?

This is an important chapter in Italian and American history and culture.

But... what happened to the language spoken by those immigrants?

I am interested in the area of St. Louis, Missouri, where there still is a lively Italian neighborhood called The Hill.

My project is to interview a group of approximately 50 Americans of Italian descent in St. Louis and in the nearby towns, recruiting them with the help of local Italians associations and clubs.

I want to know:

  • What is their knowledge of the Italian language?
  • What attitude do they have towards it and towards the dialect?
  • Is Italian an ethnicity marker?
  • When did the language shift happen?
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Why do I need funding?

My project is an individual doctorate project, therefore I am not part of a team and I did not receive any funding from the university of other institutions.
The money I will collect will be used to fund my fieldwork expenses, such as travelling to St. Louis, renting a room, etc.

What do I offer in exchange?

I am a linguist and a translator, so what about language lessons online?
If you are interested in learning and practicing Italian, I can offer conversation lessons via Skype. I did it before and it was a very interesting exchange!
I put some examples in the rewards section, but I am flexible and we can decide together what is best for you.