DENN, EIGENTLICH, ÜBERHAUPT - THREE “PRAGMATIC PARTICLES” IN GERMAN

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Abstract

A peculiarity of the German language is the extensive use of “pragmatic particles” in spoken language. These particles are generally called Abtönungspartikel (“modulating particles”) and are used to modulate the speaker’s attitude. They have an elusive meaning which is quite difficult for non-native speakers to discern, and they are a challenge to translate into Italian due to the lack of equivalents. Three particularly interesting particles are “denn”, “eigentlich” and “überhaupt”, which are typical of the speech act of asking questions.After a general introduction to the vast field of conversational particles (showing how differently German grammars treat this topic), the present contribution will focus on what kind of pragmatic differences exist between these three words (furnishing, as examples, some paraphrases of “denn”, “eigentlich” and “überhaupt” taken from the Italian translation of a German novel) and how textbooks currently used in Italian high schools deal with them.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteTeaching, learning and investigating pragmatics: principles, methods and practices
Pagine469-494
Numero di pagine26
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015

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