Italian Words Live: All the Wars of the World in the Lexis of a Country that Changed

Journal of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, No. 1, 2008

Original scientific paper

Snježana Bralić ; University of Split, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 

pages 209-220

01_15_Bralic PDF


The lexis of a language is a reflection of experience, observation and understanding of new circumstances in the life of a nation. The speed of creation and adoption of new words in a particular language is an indication of the sensibility of that nation. Every year numerous new words enter the Italian language, but most of them are short-lived and only a few enter the language permanently. The wars of the late 20th and early 21st century have brought some new expressions and thus impacted not only on western democracy, but on the lexis of certain languages and Italian is no exception. Using corpora of 150 war neologisms from daily and weekly newspapers, the author analyses how contemporary Italian is, and by what means or mechanisms it creates compounds and derivatives which, depending on lexical or semantic needs and according to present social events, document our everyday life.


derivatives; language creativity; lexical morphology; lexical innovations; neologisms; newly created words; semantic field of war; compounds; Italian lexis