English and French linguistic identities in 21st century Europe: contacts and contaminations between rules and use

Starting date
September 22, 2009
Duration (months)
Foreign Languages and Literatures
Managers or local contacts
Facchinetti Roberta
lexicology, lexicography, (new) media studies

The relationship between ethnic belonging and linguistic identity has been a topic of increasing debate and scientific investigation particularly over the last few decades, also on account of (a) the birth and development of the European Community and (b) the increasing flux of migration to and from Europe. The project focuses on the following fields of study pertaining to the contexts of LEXICOGRAPHY and LEXICOLOGY, TRANSLATION and (NEW) MEDIA STUDIES: 1) LEXICOLOGY and LEXICOGRAPHY: a. ELF emerging features both in virtual communities of practice (e.g. blogs, forums, social networks) and in face to face communication, particularly within international exchange programmes such as Comenius and Erasmus, amongst young ELF users of different ages. 2) TRANSLATION: a. analysis of linguistic identity against the background of films, so as to highlight the linguistic and cultural influence of French, British and U.S. English lexicon on French and English film products dubbed into Italian over the last 10 years; b. Interaction between linguistic, conceptual and cultural systems when French or English and Italian political discourse get in contact via translation. On a general level, the research will test if the identity of French or English political discourse (SL) is retained in Italian translations (TL) or if it is rather the case that the original French or English discourse is ‘Italianized', i.e. given an Italian identity. 3) (NEW) MEDIA STUDIES: a. analysis of the language of journalism both online and offline; b. development of a corpus of social network interactions produced in an international network of contacts, in order to investigate: - the entering of borrowings from English and their adaptation in the local language use - the coinage of new words in the local language under the influence of the international one - the innovative use of words and morphosintactic structures of the local language as a result of the international one - The contexts of use of code-switching and its rhetoric and pragmatic-semantic effects. - The comparison of the results of the analysis of the above linguistic features between Italian and French contexts; indeed, unlike Italy, France has activated a number of measures to control and check neologisms deriving from English calques and loans. The investigated social networks will be Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Project participants

Roberto Cagliero
Marta Degani
Roberta Facchinetti
Full Professor
Maria Ivana Lorenzetti
Assistant Professor
Research areas involved in the project
Lingue e letterature anglo-americane
American language
Lingua e linguistica francese
Discourse Analysis and Text Linguistics – Diskursanalyse und Textlinguistik
Lingua e linguistica inglese
Lexicology and Lexicography




Research facilities