The principal criteria that have guided my scientific activity and which are evident in my published works are essentially the following:
Initially, my research was conducted within the field of dialectology. In this field, my research - almost always accompanied by the direct gathering of data - is distributed among different dialect groups: the Tuscan dialect, the Lunigianese dialect (northern), and the Sardinian dialect (with particular interest in the Tuscany region's Sardinian immigrant community). The diversity of these dialect groups has required the use of different descriptive and analytical or interpretive instruments, as well as the development of a progressively expanded knowledge of their distinct challenges. I have also tried to use these dialect groups as the focus of various methodological analyses: from those of the structuralist type to those associated with historical linguistics or the history of popular traditions and material culture, and, above all, with sociolinguistics.
The continuity of investigations and analyses of the same dialects or repertoires has always been orientated towards the goal of better understanding the studied linguistic communities in their complexity, including immigration phenomena, with the firm conviction that linguistics offers a fundamental "reading key" of social and cultural realty, a tenet that has also led to my participation in various cultural associations.
My interest in the sociolinguistic dimension - ever present in my work and already clearly visible in many of my dialectological studies - has progressively consolidated itself (alongside the parallel development of the discipline in Italy) to the point of becoming the central theoretical and methodological base of my scientific and didactic activity. My previous education in dialectology has been of great help:
1) in the basing of my research on the gathering and analysis of concrete oral, written, and transmitted usages;
2) in permitting myself the analysis of the entire range of linguistic variation, which in the specific Italian sociolinguistic repertoire extends from the most restricted and marked dialectic usages to the highest levels of language usage, with a notable complexity of relationships and interactions between different varieties of Italian and between dialect and language; and
in making possible the application of my work to repertoires of different types,
which clearly entails the use of differentiated analytical methodologies. In recent
years, my attention has centered on non-literary texts
and special uses of language: bureaucratic language, political language,
the language of architecture, etc.
I have, in the end, found in forensic linguistics - stretching from the preliminary investigations to the court ruling and radio and television transmissions of criminal trials - an exciting and personally fulfilling line of research. It is a sector until now little-studied in Italy (except for a few brilliant exceptions), despite the great social and cultural relevance of linguistic usages in the law. The trial, for being an asymmetrical interaction par excellence, has required the synergy of different methodological viewpoints: from dialectology to variationist sociolinguistics to conversational analysis, etc. All of the research, however, falls under a predominately "interpretive" or "interactionist" perspective. For more-detailed information on this subject, please visit my forensic linguistics laboratory, the "Laboratorio di Linguistica Giudiziaria - LALIGI".
Teamwork has been a constant in my research, being invaluable, for example, in my studies of the Tuscan lexis and the variety of Italian used in radio.
From the very beginning of my scientific
activity, I have always paid special attention to the various applicative dimensions
of linguistic research, with a particular, unremitting interest in linguistic
education, be it in relation to the different needs and innovations that
are emerging in primary and secondary schools (reforms, socio-cultural evolutions,
repertoire diversity, etc.) and in colleges and universities, be it in relation
to the impact of my personal scientific research on the scholastic world. Such
interest has translated itself into an intense and multi-decade endeavor involving
the continuing education of current teachers (and other workers and professionals)
and the training of new educators, etc., and into stanch support for businesses
and associations dedicated to linguistic research and renovations in the education
sector (beginning with GISCEL).