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ROBERTO SOTTILE

Lingue e culture della montagna: le Madonie nell’esperienza dell’Atlante Linguistico della Sicilia (ALS)

Abstract

The cultural context of the Madonie — a hilly and mountainous territory near Palermo with about 60,000 inhabitants distributed in 22 little villages, some of which overlook the Tyrrhenian Sea — results from the influence of three external areas (those surrounding three of the most important towns in Sicily: Palermo, Caltanissetta, and Messina). The most relevant effect of such a complex multidirectional influence is the presence of three different micro-areas, each marked by different linguistic and cultural peculiarities. Since a situation of complex and “ordered” ethnolinguistic variability may be observed in the Madonie, the area and its micro-areas are currently investigated in a research project aimed at describing their traditional gastronomic practices in an interactive e-book. The research has been conducted as part of “BookAlive”, a project primarily devoted to transforming books from important libraries into multimedia products by means of digital technologies and devices. The project on the Madonie’s food traditions is part of the Linguistic Atlas of Sicily (ALS), whose extensive Data Base, made up of several audio files on (ethno)dialectal speech (recorded oral texts on dialectal and popular culture), will make it possible to give back the linguistic and cultural data pertaining to the territory which had previously been collected for scientific purposes. Such “restitution” has been conceived in the form of an interactive e-book in order to adapt linguis¬tic and cultural knowledge to an audience of (young) students and school teachers, as well as individuals and institutions involved in the social and cultural development of rural areas. Indeed, such categories of audience and “readers” might find greater interest in geo-ethno-linguistic documents if the latter were addressed to them in the form of a multimedia “book” — or, rather, a “multimedia linguistic atlas” — exploiting the most advanced means of technological “communication”.