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L’italiano che cambia: Apocalisse o palingenesi? Alcune riflessioni tra letteratura e linguistica, etica ed estetica, glottodidattica e sociologia

M Santipolo


The article, after a short discussion of the development of Italian studies on
linguistic variation from Benedetto Croce to the present day, investigates the
idea that a real linguistic apocalypse is to be found on one hand, in what
Calvino called “anti-language” (i.e. the often absurd and almost
incomprehensible language of bureaucracy), on the other, in what is known
as “return illiteracy”, i.e. the constant and dramatic decrease in competence in
proper Italian on behalf of increasing strata of population, a phenomenon that leads to the growth and spread of malapropisms. But variation and change should not be deemed as the symptoms of a would-be impending apocalypse, but rather as the signals of vitality, of a never-stopping new birth.