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Linguistic Rights and the Use of Language

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Chapter Summary

For anyone living outside South Tyrol, it might prove difficult at times to understand the heated debate that sometimes reaches the first pages of the local newspapers concerning linguistic rights and, more recently, the use of toponyms. The issue concerning the use of language came to the fore with South Tyrol?s annexation to Italy after World War I. Indeed, this annexation ruptured the linguistic unity that had been confirmed and defended as a symbol of Italian national independence. This chapter focuses mainly on the analysis of the provisions of the Second Autonomy Statute (ASt), which, in its capacity as the ?Constitution of South Tyrol?, ensures the effective defence of the use of language in the Province of Bolzano/ Bozen. Such regulations are contained mainly in Part XI of the Statute, under the heading ?Use of the German and Ladin Languages?.

Keywords: autonomy statute (ASt); Bolzano; Bozen; Italian national independence; language; linguistic rights; South Tyrol; World War I



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