Intensification is a more pervasive phenomenon than usually thought, involving modification and scaling at different levels. Besides adjectives and adverbs, also the epistemic stance and the illocutionary force of speech acts can be modulated (Bazzanella et al. 1991; Ghezzi 2013). The strategies speakers use to weaken or intensify the speaker’s epistemic stance and the illocutionary force of the utterance include the class of so-called discourse markers (Bazzanella 1995, 2006), such as, for instance, hedges and boosters, which are hearer-oriented and “work as social and politeness markers” (Bazzanella 2006: 463), and modalizers, which modify the speaker’s commitment towards the propositional content. This article aims to investigate these strategies in a specific language contact situation, which turns out to be a privileged vantage point to tease out the manifestations of intensification in everyday language use. We will focus on the Ladin-Italian (and German) contact area in Trentino-South Tyrol (Northern Italy), with a view to identifying the strategies that bilingual speakers adopt to express intensification in their speech. The results of the investigation show that there are different borrowability rates in the adoption of intensifiers from the pragmatically dominant languages (Italian and German), whereby intensifiers with a strong intersubjective function such as those modifying the illocutionary force of the utterance are borrowed more easily than intensifiers operating at lower (i.e. propositional or subjective) levels.
|Titolo:||Intensifiers between grammar and pragmatics. A lesson from a language contact situation|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo in Volume|