Tullio De Mauro

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Tullio De Mauro
Tullio De Mauro Trento 2007.jpg
Italian Minister of Education
In office
25 April 2000 – 11 June 2001
Prime MinisterGiuliano Amato
Preceded byLuigi Berlinguer
Succeeded byLetizia Moratti
Personal details
Born(1932-03-31)31 March 1932
Torre Annunziata, Italy
Died5 January 2017(2017-01-05) (aged 84)
Rome, Italy
Political partyIndependent
Alma materSapienza University of Rome
Tullio De Mauro with the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano
Medal meritorious of science and culture - Rome, 1 June 2007
1st Class / Knight Grand Cross - Rome, 11 June 2001
2nd Class / Grand Officer - Rome, 2 May 1996

Tullio De Mauro (31 March 1932 – 5 January 2017) was an Italian linguist, a professor emeritus of general linguistics at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Rome "La Sapienza" and an Italian politician.


He was the younger brother of the journalist Mauro De Mauro who was kidnapped and killed in September 1970, while investigating the Sicilian Mafia.

He was born in Torre Annunziata, Province of Naples. In 1963 he published the monumental Storia linguistica dell'Italia unita ("Linguistic History of Unified Italy"). Two years later De Mauro published L'introduzione alla semantica ("Introduction to Semantics") and, in 1971, Senso e significato.[1]

After preparing the entries on semiotics of the Treccani encyclopedia and publishing the short volume Minisemantica (1982), De Mauro turned to the problem of linguistic education.

De Mauro was a professor at the D'Annunzio University of Chieti–Pescara and was director of the Department of Linguistic Science at the University of Rome La Sapienza.

In 1975 he has been elected to the Regional Council of Lazio in the lists of PCI. In 1976 he has been appointed commissioner for culture, position he held until 1978.

He was the Minister of Education during the second Government of Prime Minister Guliano Amato.

From 2001 to 2010 he chaired digital world, the foundation of the city of Rome.

He has collaborated in newspapers and magazines: 1956-1964 with the weekly Il Mondo, from 1966 to 1979 the newspaper Paese Sera, from 1981 to 1990 with regular columns on the school (1981–85) and language (1986 ff.) the weekly L'Espresso. He occasionally collaborated with L'Unità, La Stampa, La Repubblica, Il Manifesto, Il Sole-24 Ore, Il Mattino and regularly with Internazionale with the headings "The word" since 2006 and "Schools" since 2008.

Between 1960 and 1973 he collaborated frequently on radio and television RAI when he went back to work again in 1997-2000. Since 1978 he has worked in cycles of radio and television broadcasts of the RTSI (Swiss Italian Radio and Television).


De Mauro delivered lectures and gave seminars at universities in various countries:

He has held individual lessons in Italian universities and in some Italian cultural institutes abroad and the lesson cycles sns of Pisa (1973), the IUSS in Pavia as Visiting (2007), University of Tübingen (2009) and to 'computerized university Neptune (2009).


He was awarded the international prize by Giambattista Vico Foundation of Naples and Vatolla (2009). June, 23rd 2006, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei awarded him for all of his research and study the Prize of the President of the Republic, given to him by the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in October.

He has received numerous honorary degrees, including:


  • Storia linguistica dell'Italia unita (prima edizione 1963, Laterza)
  • Introduzione alla semantica (prima edizione 1965, Laterza)
  • Introduzione, traduzione e commento del Corso di linguistica generale di Ferdinand de Saussure (prima edizione 1967, Laterza; dal 1972 l'apparato di De Mauro correda l'edizione originale francese)
  • Senso e significato (raccolta di saggi, 1971, Adriatica, Bari)
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: his Place in the Development of Semantics (1966, Dordrecht)
  • Parlare italiano (1973)
  • Scuola e linguaggio (1977, 1978)
  • Guida all'uso delle parole (prima edizione 1980, Editori Riuniti)
  • Minisemantica (prima edizione 1982, Laterza)
  • Capire le parole (raccolta di saggi, prima edizione 1994, Laterza)
  • Direzione del Grande Dizionario Italiano dell'Uso, 6 voll. (1999, Utet)
  • Prima lezione sul linguaggio (2002, Laterza)
  • La cultura degli italiani a cura di Francesco Erbani (2004, Laterza)
  • La fabbrica delle parole (2005, Utet)
  • Introduzione, traduzione e commento degli Scritti inediti di linguistica generale di Ferdinand de Saussure (2005, Laterza)
  • Parole di giorni lontani (2006, il Mulino)
  • Lezioni di linguistica teorica (2008, Laterza)
  • Che cosa è una lingua
  • In principio c'era la parola? (2009, Il Mulino)
  • Parole di giorni un po' meno lontani (2012, il Mulino)
  • La lingua batte dove il dente duole (2013, Laterza; scritto con Andrea Camilleri)


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