Syntactic Variation: The Dialects of Italy

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The study of Romance languages can tell us a great deal about sentence structure and its variation in general. Focusing on the dialects of Italy - including the islands of Sardinia and Sicily - the authors explore three thematic areas: the nominal domain, the verbal domain and the left periphery of the clause. The book gives fresh attention to the dialects, arguing that they offer an unprecedented degree of variation (not found, for example, in Germanic languages). Analysing a host of new data, the authors show how the dialects can be used as a test-bed for investigating and challenging received ideas about language structure and change. coherent and wide-ranging, this is a vital resource for those working in syntactic theory, historical linguistics and Romance languages.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521517362
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2010
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Roberta D'Alessandro is Head of the Department of Italian Language and Culture at Leiden University.

Adam Ledgeway is Head of the Department of Italian and Senior Lecturer in Romance Philology in the Department of Italian at the University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge.

Ian Roberts is Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

Syntactic variation and the dialects of Italy: an overview Roberta D'Alessandro D'Alessandro, Roberta Adam Ledgeway Ledgeway, Adam Ian Roberts Roberts, Ian 1

1 Headless relatives in some Old Italian varieties Paola Beninca Beninca, Paola 55

2 On Old Italian uomo and the classification of indefinite expressions Verner Egerland Egerland, Verner 71

3 Syncretism and suppletion in clitic systems: underspecification, silent clitics or neither? M. Rita Manzini Manzini, M. Rita Leonardo M. Savoia Savoia, Leonardo M. 86

4 Lexicalization of 3rd person object clitics: clitic enclisis and clitic drop Leonardo M. Savoia Savoia, Leonardo M. M. Rita Manzini Manzini, M. Rita 102

5 Proclitic vs enclitic pronouns in northern Italian dialects and the null-subject parameter Anna Cardinaletti Cardinaletti, Anna Lori Repetti Repetti, Lori 119

6 Domains of clitic placement in finite and non-finite clauses: evidence from a Piedmontese dialect Christina Tortora Tortora, Christina 135

7 Prohibition and Romance: negative imperatives in the early vernaculars of Italy Mair Parry Parry, Mair 153

8 The periphrasis aviri a + infinitive in contemporary Sicilian dialect Luisa Amenia Amenia, Luisa 171

9 A formal typology of person-based auxiliary selection in Italo-Romanee Geraldine Legendre Legendre, Geraldine 186

10 The Abruzzese T-v system: feature spreading and the double auxiliary construction Roberta D'Alessandro D'Alessandro, Roberta Adam Ledgeway Ledgeway, Adam 201

11 Perfective auxiliaries in the pluperfect in some southern Italian dialects Michela Cennamo Cennamo, Michela 210

12 The logic of Romance past participle agreement Michele Loporcaro Loporcaro,Michele 225

13 Fronting as focalization in Sicilian Silvio Cruschina Cruschina, Silvio 247

14 Focus fronting and the left periphery in Sardinian Guido Mensching Mensching, Guido Eva-Maria Remberger Remberger, Eva-Maria 261

15 In focus: an investigation of information and contrastive constructions Sandra Paoli Paoli, Sandra 277

16 Criterial conditions for wh-structures: evidence from wh-exclamatives in northern Italian dialects Nicola Munaro Munaro, Nicola 292

17 The distribution of the complementizers /ka/ and /ku/ in the North Salentino dialect of Francavilla Fontana (Brindisi) Paola Vecchio Vecchio, Paola 312

References 323

Index 346

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