L'acquisizione dell'imperativo in italiano L2: analisi di un corpus di apprendenti anglofoni
Keywords:ACQUISITION OF ITALIAN L2, LEARNER CORPUS, IMPERATIVE, SOCIOPRAGMATIC MARKERS, COURTESY, PRAGMATIC MARKEDNESS
Few studies have examined the function and acquisition of the imperative in Italian. The present study first aims to highlight the fundamental distinction between true imperative forms and suppletive forms. Secondly, it seeks to draw attention to the difference between the imperative’s typical uses as defined in the literature and its colloquial uses in contemporary Italian. With these distinctions in mind, the study examines the acquisition of the Italian imperative by anglophone learners. Data from a corpus of L2 Italian learners reveal that the Italian imperative is learned late and with much difficulty. Further, more advanced Italian learners who master the imperative mood use it less frequently than learners with a lower proficiency. On the one hand, the difficulty of acquiring the imperative and the tendency not to use it are explained by the morphological markedness of some elements of the verbal paradigm. On the other hand, the actual use of the imperative does not have a command function; instead, the most common imperative forms more closely resemble "regulators of interaction," which tend to be invariable.
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