Giovanna Summerfield, “Nella nostra lingua […] il cuore della nostra identità”: tentativi letterari siciliani e l’omologazione linguistica nazionale

Abstract: Starting from the 18th century with Giovanni Meli and Domenico Tempio’s dialect poetry, Sicily cultivates a sense of cultural revendication, which continues in the 19th century with scholars such as Salvatore Salomone Marino and Giuseppe Pitrè, fathers of the Sicilian folklore, and later culminating in poems of social protest by Ignazio Buttitta and some post-war Sicilian poets. This article examines their works as well as the more recent Camilleri phenomenon. The long Sicilian dialect tradition briefly presented here, concurrently with the country’s linguistic homologation process, highlights the tension existing between the construction of the nation and other forms of regional identities, as well as the products of dialect practices that sometimes end up reproducing the very nationalistic structures from which they intended to depart. Other times, however, they can create a language that accurately reproduces the linguistic and cultural reality of the region.
Keywords: Sicily, Dialect, Identity, Language, Nation.