Italian NP (fwd)

Giulia Bencini bencini at PSYCH.COLORADO.EDU
Thu Apr 30 20:47:41 UTC 1998

>>       Longogbardi 1994 provides the following
>>               a.      Il  mio Giani ha finalmente telefonato
>>                       the my Gianni    finally    called up
>>               b.      *Mio Gianni ha finalmente telefonato
>>                         my Gianni    finally    called up
>>               c.      Gianni mio ha finalmente telefonato
>>                       Gianni my     finally    called up
>>               d.      Il  Gianni  mio ha finalmente telefonato
>>                       the Gianni  my     finally    called up
>>He accounts for the paradigm in formalist terms.
>>My question is:
>>1. Is there any functional explanation?
>>2. Is there any meaning difference among a, c and d,
>>especially between c and d.
>It is not easy to answer. Although Longobardi is correct in pointing out
>that the only agrammatical sentence is (b), this does not mean that the
>other versions all coexist in any given variety. In my Northern variety,
>for instance, the only natural way to say this is (a). I perceive (c-d) as
>only natural in some Centre or Southern variety; and I presume they mainly
>differ in pragmatics. (c) seems to involve a marked affective flavour.
>As to the first question: it is not clear to me what "functional" would
>mean in this case.
Bertinetto is right in saying that these examples belong to different
regional varieties of Italian. These varieties of Italian do not belong to
the same system because their substrates are very different romance

"il mio Gianni" with referential value, is the only form licensed form in
	standard Italian, because with a preposed possessive the article
	is obligatory.

"Gianni mio" with referential value, is normal in Southern Italian,
	while in standard Italian this form is possible only as a
		"Gianni mio, non parlare cosi!"
		"(my) Gianni, don't talk like that!".

"il Gianni mio" is allowed in Italian, but only with a contrastive
			"il Gianni mio e' arrivato, il Gianni tuo ancora no".
			 my Gianni has arrived, your Gianni hasn't yet

These are the forms and functions for standard Italian. The picture would
be more complex if it were to account for all the regional varieties,
and one would have to consult with informants from each variety to
get a sense of what the functions might be.


Giulia Bencini					
bencini at
Department of Linguistics CB 295			
University of Colorado
Boulder CO 80301-0295
Phone: 492-6747

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