Chapter published in:Positioning the Self and Others: Linguistic perspectives
Edited by Kate Beeching, Chiara Ghezzi and Piera Molinelli
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 292] 2018
► pp. 197–218
Constellation of indexicalities and social meaning
The evolution of cioè in Contemporary Italian
This chapter analyses the evolution of Italian cioè lit. ‘that is’ in recent diachrony. Cioè developed a social indexicality as in the 1980s it was associated with a young speech style. Through a corpus-based analysis of listeners’ phone-ins to a radio station, this study analyses the functions of cioè in the speech styles of different age-cohorts and its diachronic evolution over the last thirty years. The evolution of cioè shows that speakers employ it creatively, through a progressive bleaching of its original semantic and pragmatic values. The expansion of its functions and contexts of occurrence is so extensive that the expression became stigmatized as a ‘verbal tic’ characteristic of the language spoken by an age-cohort of speakers. These same social values are at the origin of the progressive decline of cioè in new generations of young speakers and in the community as a whole.
Keywords: cioè , reformulation markers, Contemporary Italian, social indexicality, age-based varion
Published online: 17 July 2018
Beeching, Kate, and Ulrich Detges
Briz Gómez, Antonio
Briz Gómez, Antonio, and Grupo Val.Es.Co
Cuenca, Maria Josep
Dal Negro, Silvia, and Ilaria Fiorentini
Fedriani, Chiara, and Emanuele Miola
2012 “When Irrealis and Vagueness Go Hand in Hand: Evidence from the Italian Connective maniman ”. Paper presented at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea , Stockholm, August 29–September 1 2012.
Gülich, Elisabeth, and Thomas Kotschi
Michel, Jean-Baptiste, Yuan Kui Shen, Aviva P. Aiden, Adrian Veres, Matthew K. Gray, The Google Books Team, Joseph P. Pickett, Dale Hoiberg, Dan Clancy, Peter Norvig, Jon Orwant, Steven Pinker, Martin A. Nowak, and Erez Lieberman Aiden
Pons Bordería, Salvador
2006 “Reformulierungen in wissenschaftlichen Texten und der Gebrauch von cioè ”. In Italienisch und Deutsch als Wissenschaftssprachen: Bestandsaufnahmen, Analysen, Perspektiven/Italiano e tedesco come lingue della comunicazione scientifica: Ricognizioni, analisi e prospettive, ed. by Emilia Calaresu, Cristina Guardiano, and Klaus Hölker, 317–336. Berlin: LIT.