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500 Years of Italian Grammar(s), Culture, and Society in Italy and Europe

500 Years Conference

500 Years of Italian Grammar(s), Culture, and Society in Italy and Europe: From Fortunio's Regole (1516) to the Present

Thursday 10 December 2015
9am - 5pm
Music Room, Downing College, Cambridge




A conference entitled 500 Years of Italian Grammar(s), Culture, and Society in Italy and Europe: From Fortunio’s Regole (1516) to the Present will take place on Thursday 10 December in the Music Room, Downing College, Cambridge. 

This one-day event will celebrate the publication of the first grammar of the Italian language, Fortunio's Regole grammaticali della volgar lingua (1516), ahead of its 500th anniversary in 2016. The event intends to be a re-assessment of the Italian grammatical production in the last five centuries, examining its development from Fortunio's Regole, which established a long-lasting tradition of 'grammatica degli autori' (based on the language of the great authors of the past), until contemporary speaker-based grammar production, a 'grammatica dell'utente', which responds to the needs of the public (by means of online dedicated webpages whereby grammarians answer users' linguistic queries). 

This event intends to offer an original and 'different' approach to grammar and grammar texts: speakers have been asked to approach grammar and grammar production in the light of the tradition inaugurated by Fortunio, analysing its development, implications, and deviations, within the context of Italy and/or other European countries. But they have also been asked to adopt new and original perspectives to show how grammar texts, instead of being sterile and repetitive 'objects', as they are often (unfairly) considered to be, reflect instead the culture, tastes, and needs of their reading public and, more broadly, of the era in which they were produced. Similarly, they have been invited to present unusual, 'curious', and little-known examples of grammar production, both in print and in manuscript, with the aim of bringing to light new facts and events within the history of Italian grammar production, the history of the Italian language and culture, and the history of linguistic thought.

A special issue of The Italianist, collecting the papers presented at the conference, is due to be published precisely in 2016 to mark the 500th anniversary of Fortunio's Regole.

An exhibition of Italian grammars held in Cambridge University Library will take place between 12 November and 11 December 2015. Please click on the lin for more details:

The conference is generously sponsored by the Department of Italian at Cambridge University, the Italian Cultural Institute in London, the Modern Humanities Research Association, the Society for Italian Studies, and the Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas.



Conference speakers: 

Prof. Massimo Arcangeli (Professor of Italian Linguistics, Università di Cagliari)
Dr Marco Faini (Research Associate, University of Cambridge)
Dr John Gallagher (Research Fellow, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge)
Dr Vilma de Gasperin (Senior Instructor in Italian, University of Oxford; College Lecturer at Exeter College, Oxford)
Dr Francesco Lucioli (Research Fellow, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, Innsbruck)
Prof. Anna Laura Lepschy (Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto; Emerita Professor of Italian, University College London)
Prof. Giulio Lepschy (FBA; Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto; Emeritus Professor of Italian, University of Reading)
Prof. Brian Richardson (FBA, Emeritus Professor of Italian, University of Leeds)
Dr Helena Sanson (Reader in Italian Language, Literature and Culture, University of Cambridge)
Dr Ute Tintemann (Researcher, Berlin-Brandeburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften)
Prof. Nigel Vincent (FBA, Emeritus Professor of General & Romance Linguistics, University of Manchester)



A full programme is available on this page.

Registation Details:

Registration is now open. The full fee is £30, and we are happy to offer a reduced rate for students of £20. Please use the link to register online:Conference Registration.

Conference venue:

The conference will be held in the Music Room, Downing College, Cambridge.

Exhibition of books:

An exhibition of Italian Grammars held in Cambridge University Library will take place between 12 November and 11 December 2015. More details to follow shortly.

Organising committee:

Dr Helena Sanson (Clare College, University of Cambridge)
Dr Francesco Lucioli (Research Fellow, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, Innsbruck)

If you have any queries, please contact:

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