Structural Protocols for linguistic awareness enhancing language identity

Language is the most powerful means of cultural transmission and ethnic identity within and across borders. Unfortunately both the popular tradition and linguistic research has so far looked for differences rather than similarities in regional accents and local vocabulary.

I believe that linguistic awareness (shared knowledge on the cognitive and biological nature of language) can constitute a core component of the construction of positive cultural identification within and across boundaries. In this perspective, syntactic properties formalized in a sound systematic fashion are the best candidates to support inclusive cultural identification, in view of the following observations:

The aim of the project is the creation of tools of syntactic analysis to enhance positive linguistic awareness on the general principles underlying the human language capacity and the modalities of differentiation (parameters) that make languages vary in a form which is less wild and unpredictable than usually perceived. This will contribute to create inclusive cultural identity and preserve the linguistic heritage of minority groups in forms that are accessible to modern scientific research as well as apt to dissemination.

I will focus on two cases: a severely endangered Romance-Balkan variety, Istroromanian, spoken in the Slavic speaking area of Croatia and a number of central Italian dialects with low  prestige.


Giuliana Giusti is a Visiting Fellow at CRASSH, Michaelmas 2011.

She is professor of Linguistics at the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, where she is the president of the Equal Opportunity Committee.


Her principal research interests lie in the field of comparative linguistics of Germanic, Romance, and Balkan languages, and in particular on the syntax of nominal expressions, from different perspectives such as language attrition, first and second language acquisition, language change and dialectal variation.

She has collaborated to reference grammars of Italian, Old Italian, English and German that enhance linguistic awareness and support language learning in an innovative perspective.


She is active in promoting a use of the Italian language by the media and institutions that enhance positive gender identity; and is recently involved in the study of endangered Balkan varieties in the Adriatic Region.


Publications from work conducted at CRASSH

Giusti, Giuliana 2015. Nominal Syntax at the interfaces. A comparative study of languages with articles , Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing (ISBN 978-1-4438-8024-4) 

Giusti, Giuliana; Iulia, Zegrean 2015 Syntactic Protocols to enhance inclusive cultural identity. A Case study on Istro-Romanian clausal structure. QUADERNI DI LINGUISTICA E STUDI ORIENTALI, vol. 1, pp. 117-138 (ISSN 2421-7220)

Giusti, Giuliana 2014. “Metacognizione linguistica e insegnamento universitario delle lingue” in LEA, vol. 3, pp. 349-364 (ISSN 1824-484X)

Giusti, Giuliana 2012. Acquisition at the interface. A caveat for syntactic search. Iin Ferré S., Prévost Ph., Tuller L., Zebib R., Selected Proceedings of the Romance Turn IV. Workshop on the Acquisition of Romance Languages, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholar Publishing, pp. 104-123 (ISBN 144383498X) 

Di Caro, Vincenzo N. and Giuliana Giusti 2015. “A Protocol for the Inflected Construction in Sicilian Dialects” Annali di Ca' Foscari, serie occidentale 46: 393-421. [Read.]


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