York professor receives a golden passport

On Friday, Oct. 20, Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano, professor of Italian in the Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics in York’s Faculty of Arts, was awarded the Premio Ambassador award, symbolized by un passaporto d’oro (a golden passport), for her contributions to the promotion of Molise, a region in central-southern Italy. The Premio Ambassador is given to four people of Molisan descent per continent. This year’s other recipients include Michael Di Biase, outgoing mayor of the city of Vaughan, and Giose Rimanelli, author and professor emeritus, University of Massachusetts.

Left: Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano

“I am most proud to receive this award from the Region as it recognizes the contributions made by those that do not live in Molise but fervently promote its rich history and culture,” said Iannacito-Provenzano, who holds a BA in French and Italian from York University and an MA and PhD in Italian Linguistics from the University of Toronto.

Iannacito-Provenzano’s research interests include romance linguistics, dialectology and Southern Italian dialect literature, cultural anthropology, second language pedagogy and the father-daughter relationship in Italian and North American Italian literature.

Her current research involves studying language and ethnography in the works of Antonio Angelone, a dialect playwright and poet from Molise. For this work she has received a grant from the Faculty of Arts at York. She has also translated into English a dialect play, The Harvest, by the same author and is currently working on the translation of a collection of poetry by Angelone.

Iannacito-Provenzano has produced many publications on the history of the Molise region and on morpho-phonological and syntactic processes in the Molisan dialects. Her most recent book, Il dialetto molisano di Villa San Michele (IS): Fonologia, morfologia, sintassi e lessico (2006) documents obsolescent terminology and fills an important lacuna in Molisan and Italian dialectology in general. The book launch is scheduled for late November.