An extract on #letteringvideo
The War of the Spanish Succession gave Sardinia to Austria, whose sovereignty was confirmed by the 171314 treaties of Utrecht and Rastatt. In 1717 a Spanish fleet reoccupied Cagliari, and the following year Sardinia was ceded to Victor Amadeus II of Savoy in exchange for Sicily. This transfer would not initially entail any social nor linguistic changes, though: Sardinia would still retain for a long time its Hispanic character, so much so that only in 1767 were the Aragonese and Spanish dynastic symbols replaced by the Savoyard cross.
During the Savoyard period, a number of essays written by philologist Matteo Madau and professor (and senator) Giovanni Spano attempted to establish a unified orthography based on Logudorese, just like Florentine would become the basis for Italian. In 1811, Vincenzo Raimondo Porru published the first essay on the Southern Sardinian grammar and in 1832 the first Sardinian-Italian dictionary as well.
However, the Savoyard government imposed Italian on Sardinia in July 1760, for reasons related more to the Savoyard need of drawing the island away from the Spanish influence than for Italian nationalism, which would be later pursued by the King Charles Albert. At the time, Italian was a foreign language to Sardinians.
Carlo Baudi di Vesme (Cuneo, 1809 Turin, 1877) claimed that the suppression of Sardinian and the imposition of Italian was desirable in order to make the islanders "civilized" Italians, importing solely Italian-speaking teachers from other regions, and Piedmontese cartographers replaced many Sardinian place names with Italian ones. Despite the assimilation policy the anthem of the Savoyard Kingdom of Sardinia was S'hymnu sardu nationale ("the Sardinian National Anthem"), also known as Cunservet Deus su Re ("God save the King"), with Sardinian lyrics first in Campidanese and then Logudorese.
During the mobilization for World War I, the Italian Army compelled all Sardinians to enlist as Italian subjects and established the Sassari Infantry Brigade on 1 March 1915 at Tempio Pausania and Sinnai. Unlike the other infantry brigades of Italy, Sassari's conscripts were only Sardinians (including many officers). It is the only unit in Italy with an anthem in a language other than Italian: Dimonios ("Devils"), by Luciano Sechi. Its title derives from Rote Teufel (German for "red devils"). However, compulsory military service played a role in language shift.
Under Fascism all languages other than Italian were banned, including Sardinia's improvised poetry competitions, and surnames were changed to sound more Italian. During this period, the Sardinian Hymn of the Piedmontese Kingdom was a chance to use a regional language without penalty; as a royal tradition, it could not be forbidden.