Agrigentino

AGRIGENTINO

Agrigentino is a variety of the Sicilian language. It is spoken in and around the province of Agrigento in the western part of the island of Sicily, in a dialect area sometimes referred to as Western Sicilian. There are likely around 50,000 speakers of the Agrigentino variety, but as is the case throughout Italy, it is difficult to draw boundaries between the many varieties and therefore to give a more precise number. Agrigentino is closely related to other varieties of Sicilian, and Sicilian is closely related to the Calabrese language of the southern Italian peninsula.

Is Agrigentino endangered? While it is difficult to assess the health of many regional varieties of Sicilian, it is fair to say that most are at risk of loss as the younger generations are less inclined to speak local varieties and more likely to speak a broader regional standard. The Agrigentino variety is not officially recognized, taught in schools nor supported in the media, contributing to this drift.

Toronto is home to thousands of speakers of varieties of Sicilian, with several dozen of these being speakers of Agrigentino. In this video, second-generation Agrigentino speaker Nina di Trapani shares the story of her family’s immigration to Canada and some favourite Sicilian foods.

 

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