Book Chapter

Address in Italian academic interactions: The power of distance and (non)-reciprocity

M Formentelli, J Hajek

Address Practice as Social Action: European Perspectives | Palgrave Pivot | Published : 2015


The chapter offers a detailed description of address practices in Italian academic interactions, based on the reported usage of address forms by students and lecturers via questionnaires. The data reveal that the reciprocal use of V form Lei is the main strategy to convey respect and distance. However, they also show that a frequent practice is the non-reciprocal use of pronouns (Lei-tu) and the combination of lexical forms encoding various degrees of social distance (names, titles, honorifics). Address non-reciprocity is perceived as the natural reflection of different roles and relative age, and is evaluated positively by the majority of students, the increase in familiarity putting studen..

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University of Melbourne Researchers