The semantic literature and the theoretical syntactic literature stress that the traditional opposition of singular and plural hides a tripartition between mass singulars, count singulars and count plurals, where mass singulars and count plurals form a natural class under certain semantic and syntactic tests. The present work is devoted to showing that morphological externalization is sensitive to these deeper patterns, yielding both dedicated lexicalizations for mass singulars as opposed to count singulars (Central Italian dialects) – and common lexicalizations (syncretism) between mass singulars and count plurals (Arbëresh dialects). We argue that gender morphology on nouns is endowed with semantic content, supporting the idea that gender is to be equated to a classifier, coding of the mass/count distinction. The neuter inflection of Central Italian varieties, is found with mass nouns, with eventive/propositional contents, and with the invariable inflections of perfect participles. Arbëresh dialects of South Italy preserve a neuter noun class characterized by mass denotation, which combine with the definite inflection –t, the demonstrative ata, and the preadjectival article tə, all coinciding with definite plural forms. This brings in the light the semantic relation between mass interpretation and plural. To be more precise, the mass vs. count contrast can be interpreted as the reflex of a more primitive property, which opposes non-individual, aggregate content to individual denotation.

N morphology and its interpretation: The neuter in Italian and Albanian varieties / Manzini, Maria RIta; Leonardo, M. Savoia. - STAMPA. - (2017), pp. 213-236.

N morphology and its interpretation: The neuter in Italian and Albanian varieties.

MANZINI, MARIA RITA;SAVOIA, LEONARDO MARIA
2017

Abstract

The semantic literature and the theoretical syntactic literature stress that the traditional opposition of singular and plural hides a tripartition between mass singulars, count singulars and count plurals, where mass singulars and count plurals form a natural class under certain semantic and syntactic tests. The present work is devoted to showing that morphological externalization is sensitive to these deeper patterns, yielding both dedicated lexicalizations for mass singulars as opposed to count singulars (Central Italian dialects) – and common lexicalizations (syncretism) between mass singulars and count plurals (Arbëresh dialects). We argue that gender morphology on nouns is endowed with semantic content, supporting the idea that gender is to be equated to a classifier, coding of the mass/count distinction. The neuter inflection of Central Italian varieties, is found with mass nouns, with eventive/propositional contents, and with the invariable inflections of perfect participles. Arbëresh dialects of South Italy preserve a neuter noun class characterized by mass denotation, which combine with the definite inflection –t, the demonstrative ata, and the preadjectival article tə, all coinciding with definite plural forms. This brings in the light the semantic relation between mass interpretation and plural. To be more precise, the mass vs. count contrast can be interpreted as the reflex of a more primitive property, which opposes non-individual, aggregate content to individual denotation.
978-3-631-67379-9
Constraints on Structure and Derivation in Syntax, Phonology and Morphology
213
236
Manzini, Maria RIta; Leonardo, M. Savoia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2158/1077604
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