How music is keeping one southern Italian dialect alive

The historic dialect of Southern Italy, spoken by the Griko people, is on the verge of extinction.

However, it’s still alive – largely thanks to the music associated with it.

Also known as Salentino-Calabrian Greek, Griko or Italiot Greek is an umbrella-term for two distinctive dialects: Griko, spoken in Salento, and Calabrian Greek, still present in Southern Calabria. Both dialects are usually referred to simply as ‘Griko’.

Partially intelligible with Modern Greek, its exact origins are unclear even to academics with expertise in the area.

Historians and linguists have put forward several hypotheses, linking the dialects with Ancient Greece and Magna Grecia or with the Byzantine Empire, but none of these theories has been proven.

But wherever its Greek-ness came from, Griko has also been heavily influenced by the Italian Language, and speakers use both the Greek and Latin alphabets.

Read more: The Local

Should pop music be dominated by the English language?

Why are more and more pop songwriters rejecting the English language and expressing themselves through other languages? Emma-Lee Moss is a singer-songwriter also known as Emmy the Great. She was born in Hong Kong to a British father and Chinese mother and grew up speaking English and Cantonese. She told Dan Damon why she’s started writing songs in Mandarin.

Read more: BBC

The language you speak does not change how you hear music, study finds

The language we speak may affect how we perceive others, but it doesn’t affect how you hear music, a new study has found.

Previous research has found that speaking multiple languages affects you view the world.

A study on bilingual English and German speakers found that when speaking English, they were more action-orientiated than when speaking German.

Our primary language also acts as a “template” for how we hear sounds from other languages – something that is called “native listening”.

Read more: The Independent

Music ‘helping to keep Welsh language alive in Patagonia’

Music is helping to keep the Welsh language alive in Patagonia, harpist and composer Catrin Finch has said.

She has been in the Welsh-speaking part of Argentina with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) to mark 150 years since Welsh settlers arrived.

Ysgol yr Hendre, the bilingual Welsh-Spanish school in Trelew, has hosted performances during a week of events.

Ms Finch said it was “incredible” to visit a Patagonian school where all the pupils speak Welsh.
“I think it’s the music that is keeping the language alive,” she said after the school visit.

Read more: BBC News