Emozioni e lingue: un intrinseco rapporto nella personalità di un bilingue. Uno studio condotto sull’espressione e percezione emotiva in lingua italiana nei bilingui italiani con inglese L2 a confronto con monolingui italiani.
Tullio, F. De
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Feeling different when speaking a language other than one's mother tongue is a question that has already been investigated in the past two centuries by philosophers, psychologists and linguists. Numerous studies have shown that the first language has a strong influence on the second language, however few studies have analysed the influence of the second language on the first because of the daily immersion in L2 culture. This research thesis aims to examine whether the exposure to a foreign language and culture has an impact on the perception and expression of emotions in bilinguals. The research investigates whether there are effective differences between the expression of emotions in Italian of Italian bilinguals with English as L2 and Italian monolinguals. Building on existing work on bilingualism and emotions, it asks: To what extent does the use of a second language influence directness in the expression and the perception of emotions in the first language? In this context, bilingual is defined as a speaker who uses L2 for professional purposes on a daily basis whose country of residence is a country where L2 is spoken. Based on a review of the literature on expression and perception of emotions in the first and second language, an online qualitative questionnaire was distributed to 36 students: respondents were divided into two groups, in the first one there were 18 Italian monolinguals students from University of Bari, and in the second group there were 18 Italian bilinguals students who speak English as second language from Utrecht University. Analysis of the responses demonstrated that the daily use of English has a strong impact on the expression of emotions in the bilinguals with regard to lexicon and discourse markers. In spite of that, results indicate that English does not have a profound effect on the perception of emotions in the bilinguals. Further research is needed to identify differences and similarities in the expression and perception of emotions in English-Italian bilinguals and English monolinguals and to determine whether there is a common semantic structure for the perception and expression of emotions that is shared between these two languages.