The frequency and heterogeneous nature of complex clauses in the literary texts Seta and La luna e i falò
Keywords:syntax of complex clauses, Italian literary texts, conjunctions se, anche se, come se, Slovenian learners
yntactically complex clauses are often a vital part of literary language. The aim of this paper is to present the syntactically heterogeneous nature of two longer Italian literary texts selected as being suitable for reading at high school, and to highlight potential difficulties Slovenian learners may have when dealing with them. The analysis focuses on subordinate clauses introduced by the conjunctions se, anche se and come se which can introduce various subordinate clauses most of which are notorious for Slovenian and other Slavic learners of Italian due to interferences in the area of the appropriate use of verbal forms in subordinates. It was found that all the subordinates dealt with constantly appear in the Italian novels Seta and La luna e i falò, but they cannot all be defined as very frequent. Due to their relatively sporadic appearance but highly heterogeneous nature they can not represent a stable input for learners: successful unconscious acquisition is not very likely. Instead, conscious learning appears to be necessary due to the different principles governing the choice of tenses in the two languages. Accordingly, the most frequent and prototypical syntactic patterns (subordinates) should be included in conscious learning/teaching of Italian as a foreign language.
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