This paper presents the results of a qualitative study of new onomastic tendencies in the street food sector in Italy that are part of glocal naming strategies. Specifically, it focuses on dialect use in shop signs. In the last decade, street food – a commercial concept that in Italy is far from new – is particularly en vogue and innovatively promoted as ‘slow’, i.e. traditional high-quality local street food. This made-in-Italy street food reflects a new Italian style of entrepreneurship that integrates innovation and tradition as well as local food and global trends. The dialects (i.e. local languages in Italy) – often used playfully and regularly accompanied by English texts on the shop signs – become the symbol of this new Italian entrepreneurial style, which is based on a creative renewal of ancient traditions, such as street food, and the reinvention of traditional dishes. Viewed from this perspective, the dialetti continue to convey authenticity and territorial roots and, with this, quality, as various studies have described. However, their use also expresses the creative commercialisation of local knowledge, which is ethically and environmentally sustainable and reflects new values and lifestyles associated with modern, global Italy. In this communicative strategy, dialect use plays a fundamental role in constructing a strong corporate identity, as it counterbalances the drive towards globalisation and standardisation and stands for a modern entrepreneurial Italian style capable of carving out a space that is entirely Italian and thus occupies a niche in a global food sector, such as street food. In a sociolinguistic view, the analysis shows that the dialetti, which are becoming increasingly visible in public spaces, continue to grow in both their connotative dimension and their domains of use.

(2021). Il dialetto come marcatore di un nuovo stile imprenditoriale italiano negli economi dello street food [book chapter - capitolo di libro]. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/198674

Il dialetto come marcatore di un nuovo stile imprenditoriale italiano negli economi dello street food

2021

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a qualitative study of new onomastic tendencies in the street food sector in Italy that are part of glocal naming strategies. Specifically, it focuses on dialect use in shop signs. In the last decade, street food – a commercial concept that in Italy is far from new – is particularly en vogue and innovatively promoted as ‘slow’, i.e. traditional high-quality local street food. This made-in-Italy street food reflects a new Italian style of entrepreneurship that integrates innovation and tradition as well as local food and global trends. The dialects (i.e. local languages in Italy) – often used playfully and regularly accompanied by English texts on the shop signs – become the symbol of this new Italian entrepreneurial style, which is based on a creative renewal of ancient traditions, such as street food, and the reinvention of traditional dishes. Viewed from this perspective, the dialetti continue to convey authenticity and territorial roots and, with this, quality, as various studies have described. However, their use also expresses the creative commercialisation of local knowledge, which is ethically and environmentally sustainable and reflects new values and lifestyles associated with modern, global Italy. In this communicative strategy, dialect use plays a fundamental role in constructing a strong corporate identity, as it counterbalances the drive towards globalisation and standardisation and stands for a modern entrepreneurial Italian style capable of carving out a space that is entirely Italian and thus occupies a niche in a global food sector, such as street food. In a sociolinguistic view, the analysis shows that the dialetti, which are becoming increasingly visible in public spaces, continue to grow in both their connotative dimension and their domains of use.
Matrisciano, Sara
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