In the Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, the legal regulation of place names has a peculiar relief due to the ethnic composition of the population, which is protected by several statutory provisions. Moreover, that regulation shows different connotations in consideration of the primary legislative power conferred in the matter of “toponymy” to the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano and in consideration of the regional legislative power with regard to the municipal toponymy. The paper focuses on the different approach followed by the provincial legislatures in the legal regulation of toponymy. If the province of Trento has not hesitated to use the powers conferred by the statute, having care to regulate the toponymy of the Ladin population as well as of the other smaller minority groups, the province of Bolzano has not yet succeeded in enacting an exhaustive regulation according to the statutory provisions. The numerous attempts of regulation till now uselessly produced by the political bodies testify the difficulty to conclude a legislative reform that is particularly delicate in the ethnically mixed areas for the intimate connections that it sets among linguistic groups, historical memory of the places, protection of the respective cultural heritages. The different initiatives adopted until now have periodically stirred up the debate on questions that should be pacific, according to the norms provided in the special statute of the region, which were adopted in order to carry out specific international obligations. In fact, the 1946 Paris Agreement as well as the two versions of the regional statute stated the obligation of bilingual place names in the territory of the province of Bolzano. That principle is an exception to the so-called criterion of the “linguistic separatism” which is generally adopted in the region for the protection of the linguistic minorities. The persistent lack of regulation of toponymy in the province of Bolzano determines, from a legal point of view, the maintenance into force of the discipline approved during the fascist regime. In the daily experience, the not-fulfilment of the international and statutory obligations has contributed in these years, on the one side, to keep alive in the local population the discussion on a theme apparently of cultural and folklore importance but in reality of political and social impact, and, on the other side, to feed a diffused dissatisfaction especially in the Italian population that often is compelled to watch the introduction, as a matter of fact, of place names which are expressed in the German language only or to watch fanciful translations in German of place names originally expressed also in the Italian language.

Piergigli, V. (2011). The legal regulation of toponomastics in Italian law and the specific situation in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. In Topographical Names and Protection of Linguistic Minorities (pp. 113-136). FRANKFURT : Peter Lang.

The legal regulation of toponomastics in Italian law and the specific situation in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol

PIERGIGLI, VALERIA
2011

Abstract

In the Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, the legal regulation of place names has a peculiar relief due to the ethnic composition of the population, which is protected by several statutory provisions. Moreover, that regulation shows different connotations in consideration of the primary legislative power conferred in the matter of “toponymy” to the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano and in consideration of the regional legislative power with regard to the municipal toponymy. The paper focuses on the different approach followed by the provincial legislatures in the legal regulation of toponymy. If the province of Trento has not hesitated to use the powers conferred by the statute, having care to regulate the toponymy of the Ladin population as well as of the other smaller minority groups, the province of Bolzano has not yet succeeded in enacting an exhaustive regulation according to the statutory provisions. The numerous attempts of regulation till now uselessly produced by the political bodies testify the difficulty to conclude a legislative reform that is particularly delicate in the ethnically mixed areas for the intimate connections that it sets among linguistic groups, historical memory of the places, protection of the respective cultural heritages. The different initiatives adopted until now have periodically stirred up the debate on questions that should be pacific, according to the norms provided in the special statute of the region, which were adopted in order to carry out specific international obligations. In fact, the 1946 Paris Agreement as well as the two versions of the regional statute stated the obligation of bilingual place names in the territory of the province of Bolzano. That principle is an exception to the so-called criterion of the “linguistic separatism” which is generally adopted in the region for the protection of the linguistic minorities. The persistent lack of regulation of toponymy in the province of Bolzano determines, from a legal point of view, the maintenance into force of the discipline approved during the fascist regime. In the daily experience, the not-fulfilment of the international and statutory obligations has contributed in these years, on the one side, to keep alive in the local population the discussion on a theme apparently of cultural and folklore importance but in reality of political and social impact, and, on the other side, to feed a diffused dissatisfaction especially in the Italian population that often is compelled to watch the introduction, as a matter of fact, of place names which are expressed in the German language only or to watch fanciful translations in German of place names originally expressed also in the Italian language.
9783631609767
Piergigli, V. (2011). The legal regulation of toponomastics in Italian law and the specific situation in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. In Topographical Names and Protection of Linguistic Minorities (pp. 113-136). FRANKFURT : Peter Lang.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/19880
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