Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 11, No 2-3-4 (2017)

Italian-dialect code-switching in Sicilian youngsters

Giovanna Alfonzetti
Issued Date: 26 Mar 2018

Abstract


The paper deals with the role of dialect among young Sicilian speakers. After a brief overview of the conditions of local dialects in Western Europe, I will discuss the main results of research carried out by means of different methodological approaches and types of data: (i) self-evaluative data elicited through questionnaire; (ii) a corpus of spontaneous spoken language; (iii) a written corpus of e-mails, text messages, posts in social networks, etc. The study shows a strong functional specialization of the dialect in young speakers’ repertoire, above all of those living in towns and with a high sociocultural background, who use it almost only in joking or to strengthen aggressive speech acts. In electronic media young speakers use a lot of polylanguaging, mixing their own language and dialect with bits of foreign languages and of other regional dialects. This style aims at expressing a multiple identity, made of both local, national and globalized components. The dialect thus acquires an important communicative function within the repertoire of young semi-speakers, whose competence of this code is extremely reduced.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.33280

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