Skip to main content

Staff profiles

Photo of Professor Francesco Goglia

Professor Francesco Goglia

Associate Professor of Migration and Multilingualism


01392 723157

Research interests

My main research interests lies in multilingualism and language contact in immigrant communities. My forthcoming book Language Contact in the Immigration Context: the case of Igbo-Nigerians in Italy presents a comprehensive analysis of multilingualism, language maintenance and language contact phenomena in the Igbo-Nigerian immigrant community in Italy. The analysis is based on extensive fieldwork within the Nigerian community in Padua. Nigerians are one of the largest immigrant communities in the Veneto region (north east of Italy) and the community’s linguistic repertoire comprises Igbo, Nigerian English, Nigerian Pidgin English, Italian and Venetian. The informants of my study are mainly employed as factory workers and are acquiring the Italian language without any formal education. The monograph analyses contact-induced innovations in their Italian and reshaped patterns of code-switching and language choice. In 2012, I was awarded an AHRC Early Career fellowship in 2012 to complete this monograph. 

I am currently completing the writing up of the project 'Emerging Multilingualism in Italy' funded by a British Academy small grant, which investigates multilingualism among children of immigrant origin in the Veneto region (north east of Italy) whose linguistic repertoires include Italian, the Veneto regional language and the immigrant language(s). Sociolinguistic questionnaires were distributed in three secondary schools in the Veneto region. 

Another research interest is Italian abroad. In the first term of 2013-14, I was Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne and started an ongoing collaboration with Prof. John Hajek. We are collecting data among the Italian and the East Timorese community in Australia. 

Currenly I am co-leading the Leverhulme International Network Grant ‘Shifting sociolinguistic realities in the nation of East Timor and its Diasporas’ which brings together, for the very first time, scholars from different disciplines, based in Europe, Timor-Leste and Australia to explore the complex and shifting sociolinguistic realities of the nation of Timor-Leste and of the growing Timorese-Leste Diasporas. The project will focus on key areas of current research including adult literacy education in Timor-Leste, the use of mother tongue in multilingual education, the sociolinguistics of the Timorese-Leste Diasporas, language contact and the formation of a Timorese-Leste variety of Portuguese. Newly formed as a nation in 2002, the linguistic repertoire of Timor-Leste comprises Tetun, Portuguese (now both official national languages in Timor-Leste), Indonesian and other local indigenous languages. Different generations have different degrees of knowledge and use of these languages due to historical changes and resulting language policies and the transnational mobility of Timorese-Leste Diasporas. The nation's multilingual complexity crosses individual disciplinary boundaries of research into sociolinguistics of multilingualism, language and literacy policy and practice, and second language acquisition.   

Research supervision

(First Supervisor) PhD on ‘Clues to language maintenance and first language attrition. The case of Italian-Venetians in Anglophone Canada’, 2008-

(Supervisor) MRes on ‘Issues related to the standardization of English as a Lingua Franca’, Adrian Chrime, 2011-12

(Supervisor) MRes on ‘A critical review of the literature on Italian immigrants in English-speaking countries’, Andrea Gobbi, 2009-10

(Second Supervisor) MRes on 'Aspects of negation in Neostandard Italian', Anne-Marie Obretin, AHRC-funded.  2007-8

Other information

Invited talks

 27.05.2013 Italy as crossroad: migration and culture in Italy. Workshop. Department of Italian, University of Oxford.

13.03.2010 The role of the Italian language in today’s Asmara. Workshop Translating (Italian) cultures, Department of Italian, University of Bristol.

03.03.2008 The Italian spoken by immigrants. Romance Linguistics Seminars, Research Centre for Romance Linguistics, University of Oxford.

Conference Papers Given (since 2004)

 11.06.2013    (with veronica Fincati) Emerging Multilingualism and Language Maintenance Among Secondary School Pupils with Immigrant Background in Veneto (Italy). The 9th International Symposium on Bilingualism. Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).

10.06.2013 (with Susana Afonso) Multilingualism and Language Choice in the East Timorese diaspora in Portugal. The 9th International Symposium on Bilingualism. Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).

20.04.2011   Una varietà di contatto: l’italiano dei nigeriani igbo a Padova. Paper presented at the Linguistics Seminar Series, University of Padua

06.10.2010   (with Susana Afonso) Patterns of multilingualism among different generations of the East-Timorese diasporic community in Portugal. Multilingual Individuals, Multilingual Societies. University of Hamburg (Germany).

15.09.2010   (with Susana Afonso) Language choice and language contact among different generations of the East-Timorese diasporic community in Portugal. Línguas pluricentricas. University of Braga (Portugal).

14.04.2010   Language choice and code-switching among the Igbo-Nigerians in Italy. International conference New Challenges of Multilingualism, Dubrovnik (Croatia).

14.11.2008   Multilingualism in the immigrant context: the case of the Igbo-Nigerians in Padua (Italy), Into and out of Italy: The language and culture of migrants, the Italian Cultural Institute, London

09.07.2008   The Italian interlanguage of Igbo-Nigerians in Italy: a contact linguistic approach, University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol

30.05.2007   Code-switching as a replicated unmarked choice in L2 communication: the case of Igbo-Nigerian immigrants in Padova (Italy). The 6th International Symposium on Bilingualism. University of Hamburg (Germany).

24.04.2007   The sociolinguistic situation in Eritrea: preliminary report on fieldwork carried out in Asmara.  Italian Unit Seminar Series, University of Exeter.

01.12.2006   Negotiating language borders: the Igbo-Nigerian diaspora in Italy. Workshop on borders and bordering organized by the Migration and Diaspora Cultural Studies Network, University of Manchester

30-08-2006  Language change in an Italian immigrant variety. 39th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europae. University of Bremen (Germany)

02-05-2006  Communicative strategies in the Italian of Igbo-Nigerians. Linguistics department seminar series. University of Manchester

16.03.2006   (with Anne-Marie Thomson and Sirin Tufan) Linguistics, language contact and the diaspora/ migrations/ hybridity discussion. Language Contact and Pragmatics Seminar series. University of Manchester

08-09-2005   Multilingual communicative strategies in the Italian of Igbo-Nigerians.  4th International Conference on Third Language Acquisition and Multilingualism. University of Fribourg (Switzerland)

01-09-2005   Grammaticalization, reanalysis and contact-induced innovations in the Italian of Igbo-Nigerians. LAGB Annual Meeting. University of Cambridge

15-04-2005   Communication strategies in the Italian of Igbo-Nigerians.17th International Symposium on Theoretical and Applied Linguistics. University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

20-03-2005   Code-switching as a strategy in L2 communication (Poster). 5th International Symposium on Bilingualism. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain)