How can we define the weight of words? How can we quantify it? We can begin by describing their forms and then their uses... for example, how much space they occupy on a line, or in a speech. The so-called weight of a word is established by a mixture of elements concerning its meanings, an aspect which specialists define as ‘semantics’... a science whose history and role is often ambiguous and obscure.
Tullio De Mauro was a distinguished linguist and philosopher of the Italian language. Here, with extreme clarity and precision, he guides the reader step by step on a journey within the meaning of words. He offers a fascinating voyage but also an archaeological excavation of the Italian language, revealing forgotten linguistic treasures while also restoring meaning and concreteness to our everyday speech. The text is introduced by the linguist Stefano Gensini, and unfolds a reflection on words which is also a reflection on their use and on our society: a way of recognising oneself, but also of rediscovering the sheer pleasure of words as a fundamental element in the quality of a shared conversation.
Number of pages: 208
Publication date: April 18, 2019.
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