Italian allora, French alors: Functions, convergences and divergences

Carla Bazzarella, Cristina Bosco, Alessandro Garcea, Barbara Gili Fivela, Johanna Miecznikowski, Francesca Tini Brunozzi

Abstract

The functions, convergences, and divergences of Italian allora and French alors are analyzed in two Italian texts (the Novellino, in Old Italian, and Paso Doble, in Modern Italian) and their French translations. The discourse marker is used differently in the two languages, and the con- trastive analysis allows us to better assess those differences, by explicitly quantifying the degree of correspondence, omissions, and non-literal translations. Furthermore, our work confirms the exis- tence of functions which may be identified as more central or more peripheral within a certain configuration, and emphasizes the existence of cross-language preferences for a more/less rich set of forms for expressing a particular function. The polyfunctionality and context-boundness which characterize discourse markers in general are held responsible for differences in translation, thus motivating the several shades of meaning which distinguish Italian allora (with regard both to Old and Modern Italian) from French alors.

Keywords

discourse markers, translation, polyfunctionality, context, allora, alors, Italian, French

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Copyright (c) 2007 Carla Bazzarella, Cristina Bosco, Alessandro Garcea, Barbara Gili Fivela, Johanna Miecznikowski, Francesca Tini Brunozzi