This paper presents the results of a pilot study on the distribution of indefinite determiners in contexts with narrow scope interpretation in current informal Italian. It individuates the available forms and presents their diatopic distribution. The research is based on data collected through an online questionnaire designed to detect optionality. The results show that in narrow scope indefinite contexts, i.e. negative statements, both the zero determiner and the definite article are widespread throughout the country. The partitive determiner is only found in episodic sentences and is limited to restricted geographic areas. In all contexts and areas, a large degree of optionality is found. In some context and area, however, it is possible to identify one form more prominent than the others. This can be related to the context, which may favour some specialized meaning of one specific form, e.g. saliency and small quantity, or to diatopic variation due to language contact with the dialect, as shown by comparing present-day informal Italian with the dialectal data reported in AIS and analysed in Cardinaletti and Giusti (2018).

Indefinite determiners in informal Italian: A preliminary analysis

Cardinaletti Anna
;
Giusti Giuliana
2020

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a pilot study on the distribution of indefinite determiners in contexts with narrow scope interpretation in current informal Italian. It individuates the available forms and presents their diatopic distribution. The research is based on data collected through an online questionnaire designed to detect optionality. The results show that in narrow scope indefinite contexts, i.e. negative statements, both the zero determiner and the definite article are widespread throughout the country. The partitive determiner is only found in episodic sentences and is limited to restricted geographic areas. In all contexts and areas, a large degree of optionality is found. In some context and area, however, it is possible to identify one form more prominent than the others. This can be related to the context, which may favour some specialized meaning of one specific form, e.g. saliency and small quantity, or to diatopic variation due to language contact with the dialect, as shown by comparing present-day informal Italian with the dialectal data reported in AIS and analysed in Cardinaletti and Giusti (2018).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3721015
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