“Diacronia” bibliometric database (BDD)

Adjectival positions in Barese

Publication: Revue roumaine de linguistique, LX (2-3), p. 189-204
Variation syntaxique / Syntactic Variation
Edited by Jenneke van der Wal, Adina Dragomirescu and Alexandru Nicolae
Publisher:Editura Academiei
Abstract:This paper presents an account of the semantic and syntactic mechanisms of adjectival modification in Barese, a dialect spoken in the upper south of Italy. Unlike early and modern Romance varieties, the dialects of central-southern Italy, including Barese, make very limited use of the pre-nominal position. The extensive use of the post-nominal position in these varieties for both direct and indirect adjectival modification leads to interpretative ambiguity whenever either modification applies in isolation. On the other hand, the Barese pre-nominal position currently accepts only eleven direct adjectival modifiers. A selection of these exceptionally pre-nominal adjectives will be surveyed and contrasted with their respective post-nominal counterparts in order to shed light on their interpretation and syntactic behaviour. Among these pre-nominal adjectives, only a few can productively modify any nouns: speakers use them to express their ‘subjective’ basic evaluations of the referent. Such adjectives, denoting value/quality, occupy the highest portion of the adjectival hierarchy described in Cinque (1995, 2005, 2010). Following Ledgeway (2007, 2009), this part of the hierarchy will be interpreted as the least affected by the process of diachronic change: the noun is forced to precede most direct modifiers, but may optionally remain lower alongside a few ‘speaker-oriented’ adjectives, of which only three, at most, can modify any nouns. Adopting Cinque’s (2010) NP-movement analysis, we will propose the syntactic derivation of the Barese surface order (DmAP)- NP-(DmAP)-ImAP.
Key words:Barese, south-eastern Italian dialect, adjectival phrase, (in)direct modification, pre-nominal adjectives, NP-movement
Language: English

Citations to this publication: 2

References in this publication: 2

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