The invisible motherland?
The Catalan-speaking minority in Sardinia and Catalan nationalism
L'Alguer (Alghero in Italian, S'Alighera in Sardinian) is a coastal town on the Island of Sardinia. Founded by the powerful Genoese family of the Doria, in 1354 it fell in the hands of the Kingdom of Aragon, as one of the first strongholds in a long war to conquer the whole island. The town was entirely evacuated by its Genoese-Sardinian inhabitants, and repopulated by Catalans settlers. Nowadays its inhabitants speak dialectal forms of Catalan, influenced by Sardinian and Italian, despite the institutional link to the others parts of the Aragonese Crown broke down in the aftermath of the War of Spanish Succession. The existence of this Catalan-speaking community aroused interest and curiosity between intellectuals and politicians, particularly the nationalists, from the Reinaxen until today. Currently l'Alguer is included in the map of the Paos Catalans [Catalan-speaking territories]. Nonetheless, the small town is bereft of a Catalan nationalist movement, only a minority have passed from a folkloric and cultural view to a more political interpretation of the relationship with the linguistic 'homeland'. This paper aims to analyse the reasons of the invisibility of Catalonia as motherland seen (or unseen) from the Mediterranean city.
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