During the spring term 2019, I work as a substitute senior lecturer at the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies. I teach Philology in an interdisciplinary perspective and Runic inscriptions of the Middle Ages.
In July 2019, I will start the project "Language switching and script mixing: multilingual landscapes of medieval Scandinavia", funded by the Marie Curie Actions programme. The project will investigate the encounter between the Latin and the native vernacular written culture in medieval Scandinavia, through phenomena of language and script switching in epigraphic sources. Epigraphic methods completed by multimodal and sociolinguistic analyses within a linguistic‑landscape perspective will serve to determine: 1) the medieval writers’ multilingual and multiscriptal proficiency; 2) the status relationship between the Latin and runic written tradition; 3) the ideological presuppositions and purposes of the use of different languages and scripts.
Background and academic interests
I received my PhD in Scandinavian languages from Uppsala University in 2018 with a specialization in historical linguistics and runology. My research interests also include Scandinavian philology, historical multilingualism and "multiscriptalism".
One of my main research interests concerns the development of historical writing systems, and the relationship between graphemic and phonological variation and change, both from a structural and sociolinguistic perspective. In my dissertation, "Changing writing systems: a graphematic and palaeographic study of the Swedish medieval runic inscriptions", I studied the changes that the runic writing system went through during the Middle Ages in Sweden, when the runic tradition came in contact with the Latin written culture. After the Viking Age, the runic alphabet was still in use in many regions of Sweden, but it was significantly expanded: new runes were created at the same time as some of the older ones were retained but with different sound values. This implied that old spelling practices and writing conventions changed substantially. My research resulted in a deeper knowledge of these changes' chronology, of different local writing traditions, and of the developments that written and spoken Old Swedish went through during the 12th and 13th century.
During my PhD, I also collaborated as a doctoral fellow in the project "Runic Writing in the Germanic Languages" at the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and in the project "Reading and interpreting runic inscriptions: the theory and method of runology" at the Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
Previously, I have held courses in runology and Swedish as a foreign language at Uppsala University, as well as guest lectures and seminars at Ca' Foscari University of Venice and at L'Orientale University of Naples.
- Palumbo, Alessandro (2016). Among Demons and Ave Marias: Runes and the Supernatural on Swedish Amulets. Annali - Istituto Universitario Orientale. Sezione Gemanica. ISSN 1124-3724. 26(1-2), s 85- 102
- Palumbo, Alessandro (2014). Ett fragment av Barlaams saga ok Josaphats: Diplomatarisk utgåva av AM 231 VII fol. med en paleografisk och ortografisk undersökning. Annali - Istituto Universitario Orientale. Sezione Gemanica. ISSN 1124-3724. 24(1-2), s 271- 294
- Palumbo, Alessandro (2018). Skriftsystem i förändring: en grafematisk och paleografisk studie av de svenska medeltida runinskrifterna.
- Palumbo, Alessandro (2015). Recension av Carla Cucina 2013 “Libri runici del computo: Il calendario di Bologna e i suoi analoghi europei”. Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies. ISSN 1892-0950. 5, s 199- 206
- Palumbo, Alessandro (2012). Gutarunor: studie i runformernas bruk och utveckling på Gotland under medeltiden och reformationstiden.