Italian NP (fwd)

Seth Jerchower sejerchower at JTSA.EDU
Tue May 5 15:26:20 UTC 1998

For further reading, those interested should read §§431, 432 (posizione del
possessivo, uso dell'articolo col possessivo) in volume 2 of "Grammatica
storica della lingua italiana e dei suoi dialetti" by Gerhard Rohlfs
(Torino, 1968).

Ciao Giulia!

-----Original Message-----
From: Giulia Bencini <bencini at PSYCH.COLORADO.EDU>
Date: Thursday, April 30, 1998 4:03 PM
Subject: Re: Italian NP (fwd)

>>>       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
> vocative:
> "Gianni mio, non parlare cosi!"
> "(my) Gianni, don't talk like that!".
>"il Gianni mio" is allowed in Italian, but only with a contrastive
> value:
> "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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