The UniverS-ITA project

Recently, the ‘state of health’ of the Italian language has been subject to a lively debate, especially concerning the language used by young people and, above all, by university students. The debate focused on university students because they are expected to represent the more educated and cultured stratum of the young people community and because they should be more exposed to formal uses of the language (both written and spoken); hence, university students are expected to be fully competent in the use of the standard variety of Italian. For this reason, possible systematic deviations from the standard observed in the language used by university students are of major importance and deserve a thorough analysis. Most studies on the language of university students are based on personal intuitions and experiences rather than on representative samples of texts; the observations emerging from the discussion of data, therefore, are definitely interesting but cannot lead to general conclusions. The project’s goal is to survey the written production of a representative sample made up of at least 3 000 students from different universities, focusing on formal and informal texts. The analysis will cover both the sociolinguistic and the typological perspective, in order to single out peculiar linguistic features of the Italian used by university students and to plan teaching measures aimed at strengthening the objectively weakest areas of their competence.

Project financed in the prin 2017 call

(prot 2017LAP429)


Nicola Grandi

Principal Investigator

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