Contacts of the Linguapax delegates in Europe:


About Greko/Griko

Greko and Griko are the two minority languages of Greek origins spoken in the south of Italy. Griko is spoken in the southern area of Salento, Apulia, and in particular in the villages of Calimera, Martignano, Martano, Sternatia, Zollino, Corigliano d’Otranto, Castrignano (Soleto, Melpignano until the beginning of the 20th century. This area is known as ‘Grecìa Salentina’. In Calabria, Greko is spoken in a small number of villages located in the slopes of the Aspromonte Massif (southern Calabria), namely Bova, Bova Marina, Condofuri, Gallicianò, and Rochudi Nuovo and in few other towns by the coast. The Calabrian area is known as ‘Area Grecanica’.

The project supported by Linguapax and the Smithsonian Institution (SMILE Project) investigates and analyzes the revitalization strategies in place in the Greek speaking communities of Italy, Griko and Greko, since the 1960s up to the present day. In particular, the project will explore the subsequent different responses that these programs have triggered in the local communities. The project shall, therefore, show how Greko and Griko, notwithstanding the numerous similarities, yet display some significant differences. Moreover, by addressing the case of the Greek community in southern Italy, the project shall provide valuable data for the comparison of revitalization practices with other European minority communities.

The Linguapax antenna is led by M.Olimpia Squillaci and  Manuela Pellegrino. Squillaci has recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge on language contact between Greko and the local Romance variety, Bovese. Since her BA, she has passionately been working for the revitalization of Greko, her native language. Some of the activities she realized include: the foundation of the Greko Language Summer School, an app development of a Greko-Italian/Italian-Greko dictionary, the first Greko online course, the production of a theatrical performance in 4 different languages (Ancient Greek, Greko, local Romance variety, Italian) which allows the audience to have an auditive experience of the linguistic history of Calabria.

Manuela Pellegrino graduated in Foreign Languages and Literature (BA, University of Salento, 2000); she holds a Masters degree (2006) and PhD (2014) in Anthropology from University College of London and she lectured part-time at Brunel University London (2014-2017). As part of her PhD she conducted two years of ethnographic fieldwork in Italy and Greece in order to investigate the politics of revival of Griko. Her work highlights the interplay of language ideologies and policies promoted by the EU, Italy and Greece, while her research reflects a long standing interest, as she comes originally from Zollino (Grecìa Salentina, Apulia).

Maria Olimpia and Manuela were recently in Barcelona attending a workshop organised by SMILE at the University of Barcelona where they were interviewed by Vilaweb.

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