Biblioteca di Studi Letterari e Linguistici, Edificio D3, 3°piano
Massimo Cerruti, University of Torino
Sociolinguistics and grammar: variation within the norm
In many parts of Europe, the well-known social changes which have taken place in late modernity have led to the massive spread of the standard language (often to the detriment of local dialects) and a sort of ‘popularization’, or ‘democratization’, of the standard norm; the latter has gradually ceased to be modelled on writing and formal styles and has come to include spoken informal features, as well as low-status and regional traits. This talk focuses on the hallmarks of linguistic features characterizing the new emerging standard varieties of European languages, with particular reference to Italian. These features partly result from grammatical processes which arise naturally and recur in many sub-standard spoken varieties across languages (such as, for instance, conjugation regularization), and are partly due to the contact between local dialects and the standard language. Special attention will be paid to the language-internal forces which seem to act as facilitating factors in determining which features are selected to be part of the standard norm.