Words Leading an Independent Life: Four Anglicisms in the Italian Lexis of Economics

Paola Gaudio

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This paper revolves around the issue of the spread of English, and aims at illustrating the different strategies implemented by those languages that are being affected by it, in particular Italian. This spreading is an ever increasing phenomenon that is currently taking place at world level: Anglicisms in Italian, in French, in German or, for that matter, in any other language, are a strong indication of how English is penetrating within our cultures, regardless of how different these cultures can be to begin with. The specialized language of economics, for its inherently global nature, is one of the areas affected most by this process. Therefore, four English lexical items related to the domain of economics (i.e.: ‘broker’, ‘start-up’, ‘joint venture’, and ‘business angels’) are analyzed as they are used in Italian. The paper will show how linguistic borrowing – even when considering non-adapted loanwords only – takes place in different ways and with different levels of success. In order to elicit results as scientifically sound and reliable as possible, two parallel corpora have been taken into consideration: the Official Journal of the European Union and the transcripts of the debates held in the European Parliament. The pool from which data have been drawn adds up to a total of more than 15 million tokens.





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