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In memoriam Gianrenzo P. Clivio (1942-2006).

Scholar, mentor, beloved husband and father. These are but a few of the many significant roles that Dr. Clivio enjoyed during his life. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. In his honor, the University of Toronto lowered its flag to half-staff.

Dr. Clivio received his BA from University of Torino (1962), his MA from Brandeis University (1964), and his PhD from Harvard University (1967). He taught at various prestigious universities including Brandeis University; Harvard University; Boston University; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Middlebury College; as well as universities in Germany and Italy. His areas of scholarly expertise included language contact and bilingualism, the linguistic history of Italy, dialectology and dialect literature, sociolinguistics, early childhood bilingualism, and Italiese (the influence of English on Italian through the process of language contact and code switching). A great deal of his research focused on the language and literature of the Piedmont region of Italy, and this interest is reflected in his substantial and outstanding professional bibliography. His work in dialectology was influential and many of his works in this area are groundbreaking.

His research resulted in numerous publications including the following selected list of his major books:

Le ridicole illusioni. Torino: Centro studi piemontesi, 1969.

Bibliografia ragionata della lingua regionale e dei dialetti del Piemonte e della Valle d'Aosta, e della letteratura in piemontese. Torino: Centro studi piemontesi, 1971.

Concordanza linguistica dei Sermoni Subalpini. Torino: Centro studi piemontesi, 1974. (Co-authored with Marcel Danesi).

Storia linguistica e dialettologia piemontese. Torino: Centro studi piemontesi, 1976.

The Sounds, Forms and Uses of Italian: An Introduction to Italian Linguistics. Toronto: U Toronto P, 2000. (Co-authored with Marcel Danesi).

Profilo di storia della letteratura piemontese. Torino: Centro studi piemontesi, 2002.

In addition to his monographs, Dr. Clivio edited or co-edited many volumes on themes related to Italian linguistics and dialectology. He was the editor of Collana di testi e studi piemontesi (1969-1978) and Collana di letteratura piemontese moderna (1969-1974).

To be sure, Dr. Clivio was an outstanding scholar of Italian language and linguistics with an international reputation for his research in those areas. The shear volume of his publications, however, makes it impossible to enumerate them all in this brief necrology. Nevertheless, they constitute a lasting tribute and permanent record of his scholarly excellence.

Dr. Clivio's influence on his various fields of expertise extended far beyond his own scholarly research because he mentored numerous doctoral students throughout his illustrious career in the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto, and all of his disciples have all gone on to distinguish themselves in their own professional lives. Dr. Clivio also served as President of The Canadian Society for Linguistics (1980-1985), as President of The National Congress of Italian Canadians (1980-1981), and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Dante Society (1973-1976), to name but a few of his many service functions. He also served as a member of the editorial board of La Sloira from 1998 until his death.

While the focus of this eulogy concentrates on Dr. Clivio's remarkable professional and scholarly achievements, he will, of course, always be remembered as the amiable, good-natured, and kindhearted man that he was with everyone who had the privilege to know him. He is survived by his beloved wife, a senior lecturer in the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto, and three children.


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Author:Nuessel, Frank
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Mar 22, 2006
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