Lingua speciale e performances in L2
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There are many terms in Italian to translate the English expression “language for specific purposes”. These terms provide information about the degree of specialization of the language and the type of communication taking place, but they don’t tell us anything about the linguistic and communicative competencies of the speaker. These definitions generally assume to an ideal native speaker. In this paper we present the results of a survey on the linguistic needs of migrant workers in Italy, led by the Institute for Specialised Communication and Multilingualism of European Academy of Bolzano. We show how their linguistic performances at work reflect a variety of communicative styles and fields of language variation that the recognized terminology does not make immediately transparent.