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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Languages and multilingualism in South Tyrol


The main research in the field of linguistics in this area focuses on the study of languages and of multilingualism in South Tyrol, organized along three main lines of inquiry:

  • The study of the evolution of languages over time, i.e. both its internal development and the external processes which act on it to produce linguistic change;
  • The description and documentation of language use in different communicative and social contexts, both institutional and informal. Research focuses particularly on spoken language, non-standard, regional and mixed varieties, and on local and minority languages, with special attention to the Ladin language;
  • The study of linguistic and educational policies, with particular attention to the processes of language acquisition and the teaching of languages in schools of all types and levels across the region. In particular, this means teaching and learning Italian and German as second languages and the development of trilingualism in the Ladin school system.

These three points are closely interrelated and are pivotal to empirical research, carried out according to a plurality of methodological approaches. The study of concrete and current linguistic uses is based on the results of historical-diachronic research, which provides the necessary framework.

On the other hand, research in the didactic and educational fields cannot ignore the knowledge acquired in linguistic, socio-linguistic and neuro-linguistic studies and, in turn, provides it with further data and new research questions.

Coordinator: Prof. Silvia Dal Negro