On 2012-10-17 at 20:37:20 -0300, Leonardo Castro wrote:
> On the other hand, teaching local dialects can be viewed as some kind of
> separatism.
> A student in Parma would better study standard Italian which is understood
> everywhere
> or Emiliano-Romagnolo which is almost itself an ensemble of mutually
> unintelligible languages
> (as told by an Italian to me)?

To add to the confusion: the dialects of Italy aren't dialects of
Italian, but of different languages with little standardization [1]_.

.. [1] as an example: literature in western lombard uses a different 
       variety and different ortography in every province 
       where it is used, at 25-50km distance.

Actual dialects of Italian [2]_ haven't diverged much; the working classes 
only started speaking italian with the introduction of national TV 
in the 1950s, and they aren't an issue in politics.

.. [2] except of course for the Tuscany ones, since Italian 
       is a standardized variety of the language spoken in Tuscany.

Imposing a standard national language used to be a totalitarian 
nationalist right issue, but back then countries who had a left-leaning 
totalitarian regime were doing the same, so I suspect the "totalitarian" 
part is more relevant than the "right-left" one.

Nowadays, in Italy the promotion of dialects (actually, regional languages) 
is one of the propaganda points of the populist right, together 
with various forms of separatism. The left is opposed to separatism, 
but is usually silent on the local languages issue, except for 
not considering it very high in the budget allocation priorities).

Elena ``of Valhalla''