14. Changing trends in Italian newspaper language
This paper describes changes in the frequency and use of some selected linguistic features in the language of Italian printed news: left dislocations, sentence-initial connectives, sentence length, lexical density and subordinating conjunctions. The study adopts a diachronic approach and relies on a corpus-based methodology. Language change was measured between 1985 and 2000 using two sub-sections of the Repubblica corpus. The main hypothesis is that these sixteen years highlighted significant changes emerging in newspaper language, partly due to the competition of commercial television, which entered a phase of exponential development in this period. More specifically, these changes reflect the attempt of written news to reproduce communicative styles more suitable to orality and to real-time events.