Discourse Markers in Sicily

A Synchronic, Diachronic, and Sociolinguistic Analysis


When I entered her shop, my friend turned to me and said: «Arà, che si dice?» (‘Hey there, how you doing?’). This was not a full-fledged sentence in Italian, as she had thrown a little Sicilian word in – arà. It was a greeting, of course, but also a way of expressing her surprise at seeing me there, and a way of prompting me to start our conversation. The fact she used Sicilian had a clear meaning too: the vernacular indicates a shared social identity.
In a nutshell, this book analyses the cases of Sicilian arà and mentri to understand the complexity of discourse markers: what functions they perform, how they evolve historically, and what their social meaning is in a bilingual speech community.

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Giulio Scivoletto, Ph.D. (2019), University of Bergamo & University of Pavia, is a research fellow at the University of Catania, where he teaches Italian Sociolinguistics. His main research interests include semantic-pragmatic change, language contact, sociolinguistic variation, and educational linguistics.
List of Figures


1 The Theoretical and Methodological Framework
 1.1 Discourse Markers (DM s) as a Research Object
 1.2 Methodology: Approach, Area, and Data of the Research

2 Synchronic Analysis
 2.1 The Case of arà
 2.2 The Case of mentri

3 Diachronic Analysis
 3.1 The Evolution of DM s: General Issues
 3.2 Reconstructing the Evolution of arà
 3.3 Reconstructing the Evolution of mentri

4 Sociolinguistic Analysis
 4.1 DM s and Language Contact in the Repertoire
 4.2 DM s and Social Meaning in the Community


Appendix 1: List of Diachronic Sources
Appendix 2: List of Transcription Symbols
Appendix 3: Socio-demographic Information About the Speakers (cf. § 4.2.1)
This book is relevant to libraries and institutes, for the areas of languages and linguistics. It is intended for scholars and students interested in discourse markers and Romance languages.
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