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he Nones, or Anauni, are one of the oldest people in Trentino Alto Adige, and one of the oldest in the

Alps. They originate from Rhaetian tribes, a people of Mesopotamian origin who over the centuries marched up the Danube from the Black Sea arriving and settling to the central Alps and their southern slopes. They were a very advanced people, had their own alphabet and its own system of writing. They were experts in metalwork and agriculture. Roman historians relate they had no king but self managed and governed themselves. In contrast to the Germans, they lived in many towns and not in scattered farmsteads. 500 years before Christ, the Anauni were settled in the Valley, The name of the valley, its people and the river (the Nos) that runs through it are of Rhaetian as well as semetic origin. The Nones peacefully accepted Roman rule, while the Rhaetian tribes to the north had to be subdued by force. The Nones were integrated into the Roman civilization, so that in 46 AD, the Roman Emperor Tiberius Claudius issued an edict granting them the privilege of Roman citizenship. In the very same edict the emperor also claims to be particularly pleased to confer citizenship, since many of the Nones were found in his personal guard while others were highranking officers in the Roman legions, and others served as magistrates administering justice in the very city of Rome. There developed a combining of the Roman language with Rhaetian. This combination still remains as the source of the Nones language, a form of Rhaetian Ladin language This very ladin language is in evidence is several other valleys in the Trentino Alto Adige and as a consequence establishes the Nones as one of the Province`s linguistic minorities.

T

Nones . . . the Language

years later. While the origin of the minority of the Nonesi dates back to 2000 years ago, while the settlement of the Ladin Dolomites dates back a thousand years later. The identity of these latter people who settled in those areas is not well defined.. Ladin is officially recognized in the Trentino and South Tyrol by provincial and national law. Italy signed the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of 1991, but has not ratified it so far. The charter calls for minority rights to be respected and minority languages, to which Ladin belongs, to be appropriately protected and promoted. Starting in the 1990s, the Italian parliament and provincial assembly have passed laws and regulations protecting the Ladin language and culture. A cultural institute was founded to safeguard and educate in the language and culture. School curricula were adapted in order to teach in Ladin, and street signs are being changed to bilingual.

Even with the fall of the Roman Empire, and with the Written by Doctor Sergio de Carneri arrival of the barbarians, the Nones did not lose their cultural and linguistic identity. Indeed, during the Middle Ages, the people of the valley rose up repeatedly preserving and expanding the privileges of the Valley. When the Trentino Alto Adige was granted its autonomy by Italy, the Nones claimed recognition of their status as a minority language. In the 2011 census, in a secret and direct ballot, 10,000 declared themselves “ladini” claiming the same rights enjoyed by Ladin of the Valley of Badia and the Val Gardena in South Tyrol and the Ladin Val di Fassa in the Trentino. While the origin of the minority of the Nonesi dates back to 2000 years ago, the settlement of the Ladin Dolomites dates back a thousand Tavola Clesiana 33

There is a great deal of evidence regarding the antiquity and uniqueness of the “nones language. The noted linguist , William Bertagnolli, has compiled written a collection in 3 volumes of nones poetry from the 1850 to 1910. Another eminent nones linguist, Prof. Enrico Lent, drafted in 1964, the vocabulary of the language nònesa. In 2005, yet another nones linguist, Ilaria Debiasi published the grammar of the language nonesa. Both Italian and non-Italian linguists have written extensively regarding the nones. Nones poetry continues to flourish today. The status of the ladino nones minority has been affirmed and recognized by the schools who teach the language, its history and its culture. Such developments reinforced the identity and validity of the Nones Ladino minority.

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