deontic "will"

Paolo Ramat paoram at UNIPV.IT
Sat Aug 4 08:22:48 UTC 2001

Dear LINGTYP users,
in the substandard variety of Sardinian Italian the following construction is used: 
 la casa vuole pagata; questo vuole fatto , litt. "the house wants paid" i.e. "the house has to be/must be paid". This is the italianization of  a Sardinian dialect construction: Campidanese su domu boliri pagara "the house has to be/must be paid"; kustu boli fattu "this has to be done".
A parallel construct is attested in Pantelleria (Sicilian dialect):stu múru si voli autigghiari "this wall has to be/must be  elevated"

(18)     "    It has been suggested  that this deontic use of the verb "will,want" is of Arabic origin: Malti .  dan  il-hajt   irid joghla (diacritics omitted) "this the-wall wants elevated". 

               Is it a particular feature of some Mediterranean languages or does anyone  know of other  instances of this use of  "will"? 

                Many thanks for your suggestions.




Prof. Paolo Ramat
Dipartimento di Linguistica
Università di Pavia
Tel: +39 0382 504484
Fax: +39 0382 504487
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