Italian in Toronto
A much more complicated kind of lexical mixture is exemplified by theword rada or roda in (6), based of course on English road, but rendered inItalian morphology and phonology. This sounds like a perfect example ofItaliese', that is, an assimilated loanword. If this was the case, there wouldbe no reason to speak of language mixing here: instead, we would have toconclude that the child has learned roda from his parents as part of their vari-ety of Italian. In fact, Italian children at the age in question use Italiesewords quite often, such as trocco, storo, checca, gingerella, sanguicce,pusciare, cingomma, ghemma and boxa (le gheirzme che sono dentro le box,e),basso, bega, tosto (meaning 'truck', 'store', 'cheque', 'ginger ale','sandwich', `to push', 'chewing gum', 'game', 'box', 'bus', 'bag', 'toast!),
ref ghemma - ghemme (ca)[cancia]
Borrowing from English inthe Italian of the first generation is most noticeable on the lexical level; how-ever, there are also a number of syntactic borrowings (Pietropaolo 1974: 239cites examples such as fa senso 'makes sense', guarda bene 'looks (very)nice', aspettare per 'wait for').
(7 years, Sicilian/Calabrian background)
- I: quando sei ritornata, a casa che cosa hai fatto, ti ricordi
- Ch: yeah io tegnu/— iu no finiu u lavoru au hospitale e iu lu fisciu alla casa e dopo guardava (I)a televiscione e dopo tutti quanti ahm la qualle — mi cugini e u nonna e a nonni chi no viniu u hut u host hos-pitali veniru a vidiri alla casa
In addition to rampant dialect/standard-mixing, at least a third of the chil-then cited here also make use of English in some cases (cf. the phonological influence of English in televiscione and in hospitale, as well as the initial.yeah).
In fact, Italian children at the age in question use Italiese words quite often, such as trocco, storo, checca, gingerella, sanguicce,pusciare, cingomma, ghemma and boxa (le ghemme che sono dentro le boxe),basso, bega, tosto (meaning 'truck', 'store', 'cheque', 'ginger ale','sandwich', `to push', 'chewing gum', 'game', 'box', 'bus', 'bag', 'toast!),and it is reasonable to assume that these have been taken over from the par-ents. Even more interesting, there seems to be a stock of Italiese words onlyused among children; words such as i frendi (or le frendi/frende), la ticera (also ticiare), la ghella, televiscione (with penultimate or antepenultimate stress), fanni, giusto ('the friends', 'the teacher/to teach', 'the girl', 'TV', 'funny','just') are frequently found in the interviews, although they are not in the adults' Italiese (cf. Danesi 1985b)