Since 2004 it has been active in the valley, based at the Stura Valley Mountain Union in Demonte, the Occitan language desk, a nucleus from which, over the years, countless initiatives have developed to enhance the Occitan linguistic heritage, carried out thanks to the funding provided for by Law No. 482 of 1999 (“Rules on the protection of historical linguistic minorities”) that protects precisely “the languages and cultures of the Albanian populations, Catalan, Germanic, Greek, Slovenian and Croatian and those speaking French, Franco-Provencal, Friulian, Ladin, Occitan and Sardinian”.
These initiatives have been a valid tool for promoting and disseminating Occitan and bringing the population closer to the culture and traditions linked to the minority language and have taken place in collaboration with the Schools of the Valley and with the Department of Humanities of the University of Turin (drafting of the Linguistic and Ethnographic Atlas of Western Piedmont and drafting of the Toponymy Atlas of Montano Piedmont-ATPM).
The collaboration with the ATPM led to the publication of 9 monographic volumes dedicated to toponymies research conducted in the districts of; Borgo San Dalmazzo, Gaiola, Aisone, Roccasparvera, Demonte, Rittana, Valloriate, Moiola and Sambuco; works are being closed on the districts of Argentera, Pietraporzio and Vignolo. In 2021, investigations into the last remaining districts are scheduled to start: Vinadio.
In addition, the work of collecting linguistic materials that emerged during the interviews conducted over the years to local speakers by researchers and collaborators of the language desk is being systemised and revised with a view to publishing an Occitan grammar of the Upper Stura Valley.
On the other hand, about the activities carried out in recent years in collaboration with the schools of the districts participating in the various project for the enhancement of the Occitan Language and culture of the Stura Valley Mountain Union, we point out in particular:
- “Storie d’Oc”, reading and narration workshops around the Occitan traditions conceived by Caterina Ramonda, expert in literature and promotion of reading for children who also deals with research around her language, Occitan, and her oral and written traditions. Caterina translated into Alpine Occitan. “The goat of Mr. Seguin” by Daudet, released in 2016 for Egnatia with illustrations by Stefania Vincenzi, and gave written form to the fairy tale “Caterina e l’ase”, illustrated by Marco Bailone (Egnatia 2017).
- Concert lessons by the musical group “La Mesquia” aimed at promoting and enhancing the knowledge of linguistic-cultural heritage linked to music, singing and expression in the Occitan language.
During 2020, the language desk also activated, on Facebook a page of the Stura Valley Mountain Union, a column dedicated to the world of the local Occitan language: Sounjar (from French Provencal vocabulary “Lou trésor dou félibrige” by Frédéric Mistral: think/reflect; dream). The column avails itself of the collaboration of Andre Craluro, originally from the Stura Valley, graduated in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology with a specialization in Alpine Anthropology at the University of Turin who for several years has been carrying out research on the upper Stura Valley, in the field of ethno-linguistic.