Stylistics of literary dialogue. The pragmatics of politeness and impoliteness. Historical pragmatics. Metapragmatics in relation to conduct and etiquette manuals.
I have studied Romance Philology at the University of Antwerp, where I obtained a grant (1990-1994) from the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) to conduct a PhD in Romance Linguistics and Literature, on 16th Century Italian theoretical dialogue. I lectured Terminology and Translation at the University of Leuven Campus Antwerp (formerly Katholieke Vlaamse Hogeschool), before moving to the United Kingdom, where, in 1999, I was appointed Visiting Research Fellow for the Department of Italian, at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Leeds. My collaboration with the Istituto di Studi italiani dates from its foundation in 2007.
Research and pubblications
I am interested in the linguistic make-up of speech-like dialogues within three genres: literary dialogue of the Renaissance (Castiglione, Guazzo), 16th and 18th Century theatre (Ariosto, Bibbiena, Aretino, Goldoni) and 19th Century novel (Manzoni, Collodi). I pursue a distinctly interdisciplinary research agenda and my work belongs to the field of literary stylistics, which uses the methodology promoted by linguistics and especially the pragmatics of politeness and impoliteness and historical pragmatics. Past uses of (im)politeness are studied in close connection with the metadiscourse on (im-)politeness of that historical period, using a wide variety of prescriptive sources such as conduct literature, rhetorical treatises, school manuals, children's literature, etc. These texts are interesting in that they are historical expressions of metapragmatic awareness: they explicitly reflect on the norms that are guiding the ongoing self-monitoring of 'polite' communication.
Currently I am the Senior Researcher of the research project "The reasons for politeness. The birth of contemporary politeness in the behavioural treatises in 19th century Italy", to which I collaborate with Carlo Ossola and Andrea Rocci. The project, which is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, started September 2014 and has been extended for 9 months. Together with Francesca Saltamacchia, we have developed the Corpus of Nineteenth-Century Italian Conduct Books (CGIO), for which we have digitalised the 50 most popular conduct and etiquette books.
In 2019 I will deliver a talk at the conference Historical Corpora and Variation (HICOV) organised by the università degli studi di Cagliari. I am the co-organiser, together with Gudrun Held and Daniel Z. Kadar, of the panel Historical Politeness in Europe for the Ipra conference, Hongkong, June 2019.
Within the context of the SNSF project, we have organised, together with Dr. Luca Saltini (Biblioteca cantonale Lugano) the exhibition “Costumi soavi, dolci maniere”. Galatei e manuali d’etichetta nel Ticino dell’Ottocento, Biblioteca cantonale of Lugano, from the 20th of November 2018 to the 12th of January 2019. The exhibition, which is funded by the Pica Alfieri Foundation, Lugano, is accompanied by a catalogue and an anthology of etiquette books.
- Annick Paternoster e Susan Fitzmaurice (eds), Politeness in Nineteenth-Century Europe, Amsterdam-Philadelphia, John Benjamins (Pragmatics and Beyond New Series 229), 2019. Click here.
- Le leggi della cortesia. Galateo ed etichetta di fine Ottocento: un’antologia, a cura di A. Paternoster e F. Saltamacchia, presentazione di S. Prandi, Novara, Interlinea, 2018. Click here.
- "Costumi soavi, dolci maniere". Galatei e manuali di etichetta nel Ticino dell'Ottocento, a cura di A. Paternoster, F. Saltamacchia e L. Saltini, Lugano, Biblioteca cantonale di Lugano. 2018.
- A. Paternoster e F. Saltamacchia, Il vestito forma la persona 'clothes make the man'. Fashion morality in Italian Nineteenth-century conduct books, in Fashion Communication, "Studies in Communication Sciences", special issue edited by N. Kalbaska, T. Sadaba and L. Cantoni.
In 2013 I conducted a programme for the Swiss National Radio, RSI Rete Due, in the cycle "Giovanni Boccaccio e l'arte della narrazione", in which I presented the story of Tancredi and Ghismunda (Decameron, IV, 1) and interviewed the Swiss writer Giovanni Orelli. November 2015 I gave a public lecture in the conference cycle "Qui e ora - materia del vivere" dedicated to the cultural history of coffee.