La Sapienza - Università di Roma

logo de La Sapienza per la stampa



Sapienza Professor Tullio De Mauro, illustrious linguist and former Italian Minister of Education, passed away on January 5, 2017 at age 84.

A viewing was held on January 6 in Lecture Hall 1 of the Faculty of Humanities attended by, amongst others, Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. The funeral service will also be held at Sapienza on January 7, 2017.

The Sapienza community embraced Professor De Mauro’s wife, Silvana, and children, Giovanni and Sabina. Rector Eugenio Gaudio and Professor Emeritus Alberto Asor Rosa held a commemoration with professors, students and representatives of state and local institutions, including Mayor of Rome Viriginia Raggi; Minister of Education, University and Research Valeria Fedeli; Minister of Cultural Heritage Dario Franceschini and the Governor of the Bank of Italy, Ignazio Visco.

"Tullio De Mauro, whose human and intellectual value was appreciated by students and colleagues at Sapienza,” declared Rector Eugenio Gaudio, “was an outstanding researcher who contributed to making Sapienza great, a teacher for generations of students and a reference point for Italian culture.”

At Sapienza, Professor Tullio De Mauro taught General Linguistics and directed the Department of Language Science at the Faculty of Humanities, and later the Department of Linguistic Philology.

From 1974 to 1996, Professor Tullio De Mauro taught Philosophy of Language and then, starting in 1996, General Linguistics. Tullio De Mauro received the title of Professor Emeritus in 2007.

Professor Tullio De Mauro served as Minister of Public Education (April 26, 2000 – June 11, 2001).  Moreover, he was nominated “Cavaliere di Gran Croce” for services to the Italian Republic. Professor De Mauro was also a member of the Accademia della Crusca, since 2008, and a member of the Accademia dei Lincei from 2012.

Professor De Mauro received several honoris causa degrees: Doctor of Philosophy and Literature at the Catholic University of Leuven (1999); Doctor honoris causa at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (2005); Doctor honoris in Letters at Waseda University in Tokyo (2008); nel 2009 Doctor honoris causa at the University of Bucharest (2009) and at the University Sorbonne Nouvelle (2010).


The professor’s most significant works include a Linguistic History of Italy and a Dictionary of the Italian Language.