Language, Identity and Militantism in Contemporary Corsica. An investigation from a tradition of improvised singing called “chjam’è rispondi”

Author Information

Giovanni Ragni,
Università di Corsica Pasquale Paoli, France
Università degli studi di Firenze, Italy

DOI: 10.47298/comela22.10-1
The GLOCAL Proceedings:  The GLOCAL Conference in the Mediterranean and Europe 2022

Abstract

The contribution presented here intends, through the study of a tradition of improvised singing in the Corsican language, locally known as ‘chjama è rispondi,’ which is still alive, to highlight the multiple implications that the persistence of this practice conveys.

In a context of a deep ‘linguistic conflict,’ where a language and a culture (French) are perceived as ‘dominant’ in certain cases, ‘chjama è rispondi’ takes shape as an instrument of linguistic appropriation and refinement, through which one can reaffirm one’s belonging to a land, to a people, in the terms in use today in the globalised world, such as ‘identity.’ The role of the impruvisatori (improvisers), who has become linguistic specialists, is invested with new meanings and an unprecedented standing on today’s Corsican scene.

How can a specific savoir-faire such as that of sung improvisation trigger processes of identification and militantism within contemporary Corsican society?


Keywords: Corsica, Language and identity, militantism, singing poetry, “chjam’è rispondi”.


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