While it is not surprising that English would influence certain domains such as international trade, information technology, and academia, to name a few, the impact of English on non-domain specific elements remains less vigorously studied. In Italian, for instance, an increase in the use of present progressive constructions in dubbed products has been reported by a number of authors (i.e., Ferro & Sardo 2008) who have also hypothesised that such an increase may have passed into real use Italian and that it may be due to the influence from English during the translation process. In consideration of the fact that in Italian the progressive form is not obligatory and that there are limitations on the possible semantic and morphosyntactic combinations, a general low frequency is expected. However, in this study, the diachronic quantitative investigations from written and spoken data of real use Italian have revealed that, from the Unification of Italy (1861) to 2011, the frequency of use of such a construction has more than quadrupled in writing and that, from 1965 to 2004, has more than tripled in speech. The paper also explores the hypothesis that such a phenomenon may go beyond a mere frequency increase; our data show that the process may be so deep that it has affected formulaic expressions such as scherzi? [do you joke?] Ǯare you joking?ǯ, which traditionally existed only at the simple form, by generating a progressive variant (e.g., stai scherzando?). The preliminary findings from the diachronic investigations also show plausible correlations with an English influence via dubbing.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Italian Journal of Linguistics|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
- English in contact with Italian
- Italian language change
- Corpus Linguistics