Edited by Maria Napoli and Miriam Ravetto
[Studies in Language Companion Series 189] 2017
► pp. 173–192
Chapter 8Intensifiers between grammar and pragmatics
A lesson from a language contact situation
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.
- 1.Introduction: Intensifiers between grammar and pragmatics
- 2.Intensifiers in language contact situations
- 3.Methodology and data
- 4.Intensifiers in spoken Ladin
- 4.1Fassa valley
- 4.2Badia and Gardena valleys
- 5.Contrasting levels
- 6.Discussion and final remarks
Cited by 1 other publications
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 31 march 2022. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.