y of California, Santa Barbara


Castelfondo - ValleyNones is the name of a variety of Rhaeto-Romance spoken in the Val di Non, a valley just north of Trento and just west of Bolzano in northern Italy. Nones is the name used by the people of the Val di Non to refer to their language. In the literature, the language is also known as Ladino Anaune, the Ladin variety of Anaunia, a term traditionally used for the Val di Non which dates back to Roman times. Other names for the language is Noneso-Ladina, and the German name Nonsberger Mundart.

My interest in this language comes from my own family heritage. My paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from the Val di Non in the 1920’s. While my father is not an active speaker of Nones, he has passive knowledge of the language and my aunt (four years older than my father) does speak it, as do various relatives throughout the United States. We have always kept up our ties with our relatives back in Italy and I made my first trip to the Val di Non when I was a child of nine. The fact that I can now use my professional training as a linguist to explore the language of my own heritage gives me immense personal satisfaction. As with most minority languages of the world, the language is endangered as the speakers increasingly adopt Italian lexical and grammatical features into their daily speech. I am happy to say that there is currently an excellent digital archive being produced, which is recording the oral history and traditions of the communities of the upper Val di Non. This is the Archivio delle Fonti Orali dell’Alta Anaunia at the Museo di Ronzone.

As I have only recently begun my research on this language, to date I have no publications on it. I am currently working on a phonetic (primarily acoustic) description of the language, as spoken in Castelfondo.


References on this language include the following:

Batisti, Carlo. 1909. “Die Nonsberger Mundart” in Sitzungsberichte der philosophisch-historischen Klasse der Kaiserrlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vol. 160-III.

Di Biasi, Ilaria. 2006. Grammatica Noneso-Ladina. Trento: Regione Autnonoma Trentino-Alto Adige.

Fellin, Luciana. 2003. “Language ideologies, language socialization, and language revival in an Italian alpine community”. Texas Linguistics Forum, Volume 45.

Politzer, Robert L., 1967. Beitrag zur Phonologie der Nonsberger Mundart. Innsbruck: Leopold-Franzens-Universitaet.

Quaresima, Enrico. 1964. Vocabolario anaunico e solandro, raffrontato col trentino. Venezia: Istituto per la Collabarzione Cultrale.

Sandri, Ivana. 2003. Tratti Ladini nella Parlata della Val di Non. 2003. Trento: La Grafica.


Church in Castelfondo