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The eminent linguist, who died on January 5, presented a paper, titled "The Diachronic Stratification of the Basic Italian Vocabulary," at the conference celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the OVI, in December 2015. The comparison he drew between the current Italian language and its medieval roots offered the OVI, whose work focuses on the origins of the Italian language, a wider horizon of meaning for understanding the role of that founding season of our current language. As was his usual custom, and with his typical penchant for critical reflection and intellectual curiosity, De Mauro participated in the discussions of the other papers as well. It is also for this reason that we have decided to publish, in the volume of the conference proceedings, his comments and observations. Regarding these, in late December, a few days before his death, he wrote:

Dear Lino,
These strike me as very interesting discussions. The transcripts flow so smoothly that it seems that the recordings of the speeches have arleady been "combed" (as the heads of the Italian Encyclopaedia used to say). I wouldn't add or remove anything, even if at times the tone may seem a bit too casual. However, if you give me a few days, I will go through my own segments, and should be able to return them to you by the beginning of the new year.
Best wishes to you, and for your important work!

As we now know, time was not on his side for his final revisions. Yet, what will always remain alive and precious is the memory of De Mauro's dedication to Italian culture and his civic commitment as well as his his interest in the work we do here at the OVI. In his memory, we publish here the video of his speech at the conference a year ago (December 16, 2015).