Faetar is a Francoprovençal dialect
spoken in two villages in Apulia (Faeto and Celle di San Vito), in southern
Italy. Faetar came to be spoken in these villages due to a migration from
southeastern France (département of Ain) around the 14th century. An
unwritten language, it has incorporated aspects of Apulian Italian dialects
during its 600 years of contact. It is a doubly endangered language:
Francoprovençal has been virtually exterminated in France by aggressive
language planning; and it is spoken by fewer than 600 people in Apulia due to a
mass exodus from rural areas. It survives in emigrant pockets in Italy,
Switzerland, the U.S.A., and Canada.
Newspaper articles about Faetar: Accenti provenzali sui monti Dauni, by Antonio Ricucci, April 30, 2012
Interview from the Corriere Canadese about this project (March 27, 2009).
Learn to Speak Faetar / Parlanne Faitare!
I am creating an online pedagogical grammar of the endangered language Faetar, spoken in
the village of Faeto, in southern
Italy. This is a website for people who want to learn Faetar. It builds on the material described in Faetar,
a reference grammar published in 2001 by Lincom
Europa. (ordering information) and contains vocabulary and grammar lessons and activities, all supported by audio files so that you can hear to every example and, in some case, watch videos of young people in Faeto speaking Faetar.
I have analyzed many different aspects of Faetar, mostly focussing on pronunciation, but also some work on the morphology (word structure) and vocabulary. My research interest is primarily in showing how variation among modern-day speakers of Faetar helps us see how languages change over time. To see a list of my publications, please see my c.v., especially the publications that appeared between 1993 and 2001.
I also have a recent paper, comparing lexical (vocabulary) variation in Faetar of speakers in Faeto and in Toronto. Thanks to the Faetar and Cellese speakers in the GTA for providing data and motivation for this! You can hear a Cellese speaker read the summary of the paper here!
I've given a few talks recently about Faetar, and you can see the Powerpoints from those presentations here:
Quelques études du pro-drop: Faetar et russe (à l'Université de Nice, France, en français) [download 13 MB PDF]
À la recherche des changements dans le faetar de Toronto (à Laboratoire Parole et Langage, Aix-en-Provence, France, en français) [download 13 MB PDF]
Language contact and lexical change in homeland and heritage Faetar (at The University of Kent, Canterbury, UK, in English) [download 11 MB PDF]
These days, I am learning about how Faetar and Cellese have evolved in Toronto, where quite a few families emigrated. If you are a speaker of Faetar or Cellese and live in or near Toronto, I'd love to hear from you. Please email me at the address below, or call my office at the University of Toronto: (416) 978-1767.
Research by others
Here's a bibliography of research on Faetar in the 21st century.
April 10, 2013