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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Cuadernos de filología italiana
Volume (Issue) 19
Page(s) 11 - 39
Title of proceedings Cuadernos de filología italiana

Abstract

The goal of the paper is to discuss the hypothesis of the spreading of cleft constructions in contemporary Italian through a possible contamination with the English language. The discussion is centered on news releases, a text type produced by news agencies for the media (both oral and written). If we have chosen to focus on texts produced by news agencies, it is because news releases can be considered to have a primal status: not only in terms of the content conveyed, but also as far as the language goes. From a linguistic point of view, news releases form in particular “the morphosyntactic canvas” of other journalistic texts and can thus trigger (new) linguistic habits or contribute to further spreading linguistic features that are already on the spread. In light of the quantitative and qualitative data proposed in this study for Italian and in a contrastive perspective with English, the hypothesis of the spread of Italian cleft constructions in contemporary journalistic texts via a contamination with English in the texts produced by news agencies does not seem plausible.
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