Among the text types relevant to emigration writing, the letter to their own family seems to have obtained an autonomous recognition within a wider typological and theoretical framework of epistolary genre. The contribution purposes to do a check-point of the studies relative to such a type of texts and, in pragmatic-textual perspective, to linger over an aspect insufficiently studied, which is the strategy used by the writers in order to draw up linguistic acts expressing embarrassing, sorrowful contents, potentially charged with emotional tension. In this case, the examination carried out on a sample of letters written in the second half of the twentieth century by both sexes emigrant original of Lazio and Calabria areas, dwells upon the way to apologize and justify themselves. Analysing the data, it comes out a highly ritualized inclination to apologize, in respect of the typical formality of the epistolary practice and the conventional role which this action socially accomplishes. Manifestations of regret occur together with justifying arguments (almost always given with a series of reasons) which represent the real intention the writers’ repairing efforts are addressed to; that is realized by means of a range of wider and diversified structural (and persuasive) solutions. When the act of apologizing is not like a topos correspondence, nor conveys a sincere regret, it may have undergone a process of partial semantic emptying and a functional restatement which recur as discursive markers that help the linking of the speech (in which the oral elements in these documents is recognizable), but it also holds a subduing function to introduce a demonstration of dissent or an impolite and potentially offensive contents, mitigating its effects.

«io quando che stavo li era molto differente». Dire le cose difficili: scuse e giustificazioni nelle lettere degli emigranti

FRESU, RITA
2008

Abstract

Among the text types relevant to emigration writing, the letter to their own family seems to have obtained an autonomous recognition within a wider typological and theoretical framework of epistolary genre. The contribution purposes to do a check-point of the studies relative to such a type of texts and, in pragmatic-textual perspective, to linger over an aspect insufficiently studied, which is the strategy used by the writers in order to draw up linguistic acts expressing embarrassing, sorrowful contents, potentially charged with emotional tension. In this case, the examination carried out on a sample of letters written in the second half of the twentieth century by both sexes emigrant original of Lazio and Calabria areas, dwells upon the way to apologize and justify themselves. Analysing the data, it comes out a highly ritualized inclination to apologize, in respect of the typical formality of the epistolary practice and the conventional role which this action socially accomplishes. Manifestations of regret occur together with justifying arguments (almost always given with a series of reasons) which represent the real intention the writers’ repairing efforts are addressed to; that is realized by means of a range of wider and diversified structural (and persuasive) solutions. When the act of apologizing is not like a topos correspondence, nor conveys a sincere regret, it may have undergone a process of partial semantic emptying and a functional restatement which recur as discursive markers that help the linking of the speech (in which the oral elements in these documents is recognizable), but it also holds a subduing function to introduce a demonstration of dissent or an impolite and potentially offensive contents, mitigating its effects.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/18751
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