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ROBERTO SOTTILE

Sicily. Dialect of Sciacca (Agrigento), spoken by Carlo Antonio Puleo: Ph 2944–2945/1 [CD 1: 5]

Abstract

This article is a part of Volume and Series 17-6 of “Recordings from Prisoner-of-War Camps, World War I. Italian Recordings”, edited by Christian Liebl and Gerda Lechleitner, and published by VÖAW. A s far as the description of the entire work is concerned, Series 17/1–6 is a commented source edition of sound documents featuring prisoners of war from World War I. The collection, compiled by various scholars in cooperation with the Phonogrammarchiv of Wien, comprises 250 language and music recordings. State-of-the-art re-recording and special signal processing, together with the expertise in handling historical sound documents, form the basis for processing and making these unique sources accessible. This multimedia publication thus represents an important contribution to the topic of “science in wartime” and deepens the research of various disciplines in cultural studies. While Series 17/1–5 contain the recordings of prisoners of war from the former Tsarist army, Series 17/6 is devoted to the recordings of Italian prisoners of war, made by linguist Karl von Ettmayer in the Upper Austrian camps of Mauthausen and Marchtrenk. Within this survey, three folktales (in variants) were recorded: Folktale 1 (frequently known as La varva franca) is about a barber who offers shaving for free, Folktale 2 is about a widow handing over her property to a beggar supposed to be from paradise, and Folktale 3 is about a farmer who gets tricked by thieves. Recorded documents also contains some other fragmentary linguistic data on proverbs, songs and/or rhymes. The recordings are accompanied by detailed written documentation (the so-called protocols), which include transcriptions and German translations. Ettmayer, however, seems to have written these protocols prior to the actual recording process, since those extant do not correspond to the numbers of the recordings. Such “errors” are rather unique and asked for a lot of detective work in order to assign them to the respective recorded contents. Thanks to the fruitful cooperation with Serenella Baggio and many other Italian scholars, it has been possible to provide detailed linguistic analyses of the recordings. The corpus is a quarry for dialectologists, and the language samples chosen – three different tales in a rural setting – were analysed not only with regard to pronunciation, but also to dissemination and popularity. The in-depth characterisation of the respective dialects clearly shows the marked differences between the various regions, which also reflects the historico-political situation. This contribution (in its English version) provides linguistic analysis of the Italian (Sicilian) dialect of Sciacca (Agrigento), spoken by Carlo Antonio Puleo (Ph 2944–2945/1 [= protocol no. 2943]) a 22 years old student (Rec. April 20, 1918). The record is about the Folktale known as La varva franca and five Proverbs.