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Research Interests

Social Media conferences x

Prof. Roberta Iannacito Provenzano and I have organized a very successful first international conference entitled Social Media: Implications for the University. Information about this conference can be found here:
The partial content of the conference can be found in our co-edited publication entitled Social Media: Implications for the University, Rome, Aracne, 2016.

The second successful international  conference, Social Media: Implications for Politics, Religion, Gender took place 8-9 May 2014; for further information, see .

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Italian and recent leterature x

I am interested in analyzing the linguistic form used in most up-to-date Italian literature, especially by the generation of writers in their thirties and forties, the so-called Generazione TQ such as Giorgio Vasta and Nicola Lagioia.

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Language & the posthuman condition x

My most recent area of interest evolves around the question whether verbal languages as we know them can exist in the so-called posthuman condition: What will happen to verbal language and all of its manifestations in the absence of a speaking body? How will cyborgs communicate? What type of (verbal?) communication is possible without a body? I am preparing an article on this topic, which focuses on the comparison between the humanist and posthumanist attitudes toward verbal language.

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Language change & cultural change x

For more than 20 years now I have been teaching the course entitled “History of the Italian Language” which deals with the conditions and consequences of language change as evidenced from Italian. My curiosity however crosses beyond the specifics of Italic groups of languages and dialects, and embrace the enmeshed cultural and linguistic circumstances evidenced in all languages. Therefore, I am in the process of preparing a number of presentations that deal with the interplay between language change and cultural change. I am close to finishing my project on Damiano de Odemira’s Renaissance chess manual (1516).

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Sicilian language & literature in Mediterranean cultural x

Ever since I have discovered Andrea Camilleri’s novels (about 1996), I have been actively involved in researching Sicilian language and literature – especially poetry - (as well as other linguistic manifestations such as proverbs and lyrics). For a most informative source of Camilleri’s production, see; for my contribution to this, see this. A number of publications appeared and will soon appear dealing with Sicilian poetry, Sicilian grammar, Sicilian literature.

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Italian Canadians & their languages x

According to Prof. Gianrenzo Clivio, Italian immigrants in Canada created a new “dialect” of Italian, which he termed italiese (i.e. a blend of italiano and inglese = Italian and English). This language constitutes, in my opinion, one of the most significant differences between Italians in Canada and Italians in Italy. I have devoted a number of publications to this topic, the most recent one is “Language, ethnicity, post-modernity: the Italian Canadian case”, Studi Emigrazione /Migration Studies 44, 199 (2007): 355-368.

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Language in literature & in humor x

I have been actively researching the problems of “the difficulty of reading literary texts” and of “decodification of verbal humor”, both from the stands of pedagogical usefulness and from theoretical perspectives.

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Language in music x

Questions that entertain me while I cannot sleep: Is there a different grammar for modern English (Italian) pop music lyrics – i.e. different from the normative English (Italian) grammar? Are the verbal characteristics of lyrics reflecting modern trends in the English (Italian) language in general or are they setting these trends?

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Language(s) and social networking sites x

I am especially interested in the multilingual and multicultural component of Facebook profiles and Facebook groups. Do social networking sites have an effect on the structure of language and the structure of communication? The answers are forthcoming in a variety of publications and academic presentations.

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York University