This review article focuses on some relevant aspects of Banti’s work Sublime madre nostra, in particolar his stress on the permanent morphology of the National discourse from the Risorgimento decades to the fascist era. This seems to be the end product of an investigation starting with La nazione nel Risorgimento and centered around the "Risorgimento canon". This author points to some weak spots in Banti’s long-lasting and sohpisticated exercise in historical semantics, such as his tendency to detach linguistic patterns from their political and ideological background and his emphasis on the enduring elements in the symbolic representation of the nation. She also shows how Banti’s insistence on the forms and patterns of communication, based on a skilful use of sources, raises new questions as to the political cultures which found expression in these forms.
Keywords: National discourse; linguistic morphology; historical semantics: symbolic representation.