This contribution deals with the -a inflection in Italian varieties, which realizes plural as well as feminine singular. Thus the -a inflection externalizes apparently irreducible contents (singular/plural). We try to answer the question whether it is possible to unify these two readings. Feminine plural -a alternating with masculine singular characterize standard Italian and many South-Italian dialects (§§ 1–3). On the contrary, in North-Lombard, Romansh and North-Tuscany varieties -a characterizes feminine singular and plural, while the specialized (-)i plural morphology occurs on determiners (§§ 4–7). We argue that in both types of languages, the -a plural externalizes a nominal class property [aggregate]. We propose that [aggregate] is at the basis of the superficial syncretism between plural and singular/feminine in the occurrence of the -a inflection. Indeed [aggregate] introduces a notion of plurality as aggregate of individuals compatible at least with mass singulars (aggregates of parts). In general, the inflectional vowels of Romance languages, or in any event Italian -a, are not mere byproducts of paradigmatic organization, but are lexical items, endowed with interpretive content.

N morphology and its interpretation. Romance feminine singular/plural -a / M. Rita Manzini, Leonardo M. Savoia. - STAMPA. - (2019), pp. 257-293.

N morphology and its interpretation. Romance feminine singular/plural -a

M. Rita Manzini;Leonardo M. Savoia
2019

Abstract

This contribution deals with the -a inflection in Italian varieties, which realizes plural as well as feminine singular. Thus the -a inflection externalizes apparently irreducible contents (singular/plural). We try to answer the question whether it is possible to unify these two readings. Feminine plural -a alternating with masculine singular characterize standard Italian and many South-Italian dialects (§§ 1–3). On the contrary, in North-Lombard, Romansh and North-Tuscany varieties -a characterizes feminine singular and plural, while the specialized (-)i plural morphology occurs on determiners (§§ 4–7). We argue that in both types of languages, the -a plural externalizes a nominal class property [aggregate]. We propose that [aggregate] is at the basis of the superficial syncretism between plural and singular/feminine in the occurrence of the -a inflection. Indeed [aggregate] introduces a notion of plurality as aggregate of individuals compatible at least with mass singulars (aggregates of parts). In general, the inflectional vowels of Romance languages, or in any event Italian -a, are not mere byproducts of paradigmatic organization, but are lexical items, endowed with interpretive content.
Italian dialectology at the interfaces
257
293
M. Rita Manzini, Leonardo M. Savoia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2158/1169319
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