False Italianisms in British and American English: A Meta-Lexicographic Analysis

By November 17, 2016,
Page771-777
AuthorCristiano Furiassi
TitleFalse Italianisms in British and American English: A Meta-Lexicographic Analysis
AbstractInspired by the existing literature on Italianisms, this work aims to investigate the presence of selected false Italianisms (or pseudo-Italianisms), that is alfresco, bimbo, bologna, bravura, confetti, dildo, gondola, gonzo, inferno, latte, pepperoni, politico, presto, stiletto, studio, tutti-frutti, and vendetta, in the English language through a meta-lexicographic analysis of the OED and the Merriam-Webster, authoritative dictionaries considered to be representative of British English and American English respectively. False Italianisms – which most English speakers believe to be purely Italian – are created when genuine lexical borrowings from Italian are so reinterpreted by a recipient language, English in this case, that native speakers of Italian would not recognize them as part of their own lexical inventory and would neither understand nor use. The creation of false Italianisms yields to new insights into the covert prestige attributed to the supposed donor language and culture.
SessionReports on lexicographical projects
Keywordsfalse Italianisms, meta-lexicography, English dictionaries
BibTex
@InProceedings{ELX12-071,
author = {Cristiano Furiassi},
title = {False Italianisms in British and American English: A Meta-Lexicographic Analysis},
pages = {771--777},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 15th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2012},
month = {aug},
date = {7-11},
address = {Oslo,Norway},
editor = {Ruth Vatvedt Fjeld and Julie Matilde Torjusen},
publisher = {Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies, University of Oslo},
isbn = {978-82-303-2228-4},
}
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