Stefano Ondelli

(Università degli Studi
di Trieste)


Traditionally, Italian linguistics has considered political discourse as an example of the per- suasive use of rhetorical strategies by means of specific linguistic structures. The language of politicians is not a special language because it lacks proper terminology. However, research- ers have focused on its lexis from the perspective of its history, morphology and metaphorical uses, according to a traditional approach investigating the connection between the history of the Italian language and the history of Italian culture. In contrast to this, they have paid less attention to pragmatic aspects; i.e. they are more interested in the product than in the process, and aim for an overall description of a variety of Italian rather than specific texts. Nevertheless, over the last two decades Italian linguistics has faced a combination of «exter- nal» (the personalization and new modes of political communication) and «internal» factors (innovative research on Italian for specific purposes and the advent of corpus linguistics). Consequently, linguistic studies on political communication are shifting towards genre anal- ysis and pragmatics, calling for new theoretical and methodological approaches.

Keywords: text linguistics, corpus linguistics, pragmatics, stylistics, political discourse.