Our Projects



Building on the success of previous editions in Bangor (2013)Turin (2016), and Amsterdam (2018), the 4th edition of the Contested Languages in the Old World (CLOW) conference series will take place in Warsaw 24–25 May, 2024. The conference, jointly organized by  Dr Nicole Dołowy-Rybińska (Polish Academy of Sciences), Marco Tamburelli (Bangor University) and Mauro Tosco (University of Turin) will bring together scholars and activists working on the current status and future prospects of contested languages, as well as on issues of corpus and status planning, and how these impact on the speaker communities themselves and on the academic world. Read the call for papers.

The conference will be accompanied by a one-day workshop, designed particularly (but not exclusively) for PhD students and early career researchers. The workshop will serve to better understand the concept of “contested languages” as well as the differences and similarities between contested languages and other forms of languages minoritization or endangerment.

Special Issue on Contested Languages



We are currently working on a Special Issue of the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development dedicated to Contested Languages, co-edited by Marco Tamburelli and Mauro Tosco.

Due to appear in 2023, this Special Issue aims to develop a further understanding of Contested Languages and the dynamics of language contestation from a theoretical, empirical and methodological perspective. Contributions to the Special Issue will examine the attitudes and assumptions that lie behind language contestation as well as investigate potential routes to escape it.
Overall, this Special Issue will build on the work of Craith (2006) and Wells (2011) as well as address and further investigate issues that have been raised in the recent volume on Contested Languages (Tamburelli & Tosco, 2021).

The call for papers can be found here

(Please note: this has now closed)

Volume on Contested Languages

The volume Contested Languages: The hidden multilingualism of Europe was published in February 2021 and is available here. Published by Benjamins, the volume developed from collaborations with various researchers, language activists and practitioners. It investigates the nature of contested languages, the role language ideologies play in the perception of these languages, the contribution of academic discourse to the formation and perpetuation of language contestedness, and the damage contestedness causes to linguistic communities and ultimately to linguistic diversity.

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account


Theme: Supporting maintenance, use, and development of newly recognised regional languages

A number of knowledge exchange workshops were organised by Marco Tamburelli in collaboration with third-sector partners who are involved in the maintenance and development of Lombard following recent institutional recognition from the regional government.





After the previous editions in Bangor (2013) and Turin (2016), the 3rd edition of the Contested Languages in the Old World (CLOW) conference series took place in Amsterdam on May, 3-4, 2018. The conference, jointly organized by Federico Gobbo (University of Amsterdam)Mauro Tosco (University of Torino) and Marco Tamburelli (Bangor University), brought together linguists, political scientists, legal experts, writers, activists and other scholars working on the current status and future prospects of “contested languages”, starting from the reflections by Nic Craith (2006). A special parallel panel was devoted to mobility and inclusion of contested languages in Europe. The conference programme is available here: http://www.multilingualism.humanities.uva.nl/clow3

Towards the rediscovery of Italy's hidden multilingualism



A themed Panel discussion organised by the Research Group was featured as part of the First International Conference on Revitalization of Indigenous and Minoritized Languages held in Barlcelona (19-20 April 2017).

The panel focused on the minority (some of them highly endangered) languages of Italy, with a special attention to those which are not recognized (nor supported) by the Italian Government. Key points included:

the official language policy of Italy, language discrimination, language ideology and the ambiguous role of academic institutions vis-à-vis languages and dialects, the effects (and results) of official support for recognized minority languages, as well as grassroots approaches to the standardization and development of unrecognized languages and new developments on the net.



The Conference will gather 300 experts coming from more than a hundred universities.


1. Mauro Tosco (University of Turin):
   The roof (language) as an enemy: the Ausbauization of Italy’s minority languages

2. Emanuele Miola (University of Milan-Bicocca and University of Turin):
   The misuse of the “languagedialect” opposition in Italy and its consequences in current linguistic research

3. Riccardo Regis (University of Turin):
   On geographical variation in Italoromance

4. Claudia Soria (CNR, Pisa):
   Language policies and speakers' attitudes: evaluating the impact of official recognition on some of Italy's regional languages

5. Lissander Brasca (Bangor University) and Paolo Coluzzi (University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur):
   Writing systems for Italian regional languages

6. Federico Gobbo (University of Amsterdam):
   Is Esperanto a contested language? Towards a multifaceted definition of contestedness through the case-study of Esperanto in Italy

7. Marco Tamburelli (Bangor University):
   The persistence of linguistic discrimination in Italy: causes, effects, and potential solutions


2nd International Conference on Contested Languages in the Old World (CLOW 2016)

Contested Languages in the Old World (CLOW) - 5-6th May 2016

CLOW 2016 was held in Turin on 5th-6th of May 2016. The conference was jointly organised by Mauro Tosco (University of Turin) and Marco Tamburelli (Bangor University) and brought together linguists, political scientists, legal experts, writers, activists and other scholars working on the current status and future prospects of contested languages.