There sentences in extreme southern Italy
On the rise of a “Greek-style” pattern
Among the morpho-syntactic patterns by which Italo-Romance varieties code there sentences, a peculiar structure surfaces in extreme southern varieties, particularly in Salento and in southern Calabria: this involves an invariable 3rd person form of the outcome of habēre as the copula, with no agreement with the postcopular nominal, the so-called pivot. Even though this pattern is attested in other Romance languages too, it proves, however, to be peculiar, insofar as it hosts top-ranking definite NPs (especially 1st and 2nd person pronouns), which are generally disallowed within ‘to have’ there sentences in the Romance varieties. In the present paper, we infer that this pattern depends on the contact with Italo-Greek, which displays similar constructions, with an invariant 3rd sg. form of ‘to have’, the lack of the proform and the pivot marked as accusative. However, a diachronic investigation reveals that neither the extreme southern Italo-Romance varieties nor Italo-Greek displayed in their Medieval stage a similar construction, since both of them exhibited the definiteness effect. Sociolinguistic factors can account for how the two systems influenced each other by ruling out the definiteness effect from the respective patterns at the end of the interference process.
- 1.The ‘to have’ pattern in Salentino and central-southern Calabrese: A calque from Italo-Greek?
- 2.Greek and Latin in southern Italy: The sociolinguistic background
- 3.The split pattern in central and southern Calabria
- 4.The ‘to have’ pattern: The diatopic evidence
- 5.The definiteness effect in Italo-Greek and in extreme southern Italo-Romance varieties: Diachronic evidence
- 6.The transitive-possessive hypothesis
- 7.The loss of the definiteness effect in the Greek-Romance diasystem
- 8.DOM and personal pronouns
- 9.The pivot as predicate hypothesis
- 10.Possessive habēre
- 11.Constraints on objects in possessive structures
- 12.On the definiteness effect in Romance languages: Future prospects for research
- 13.Sociolinguistic shift in the Greek-Romance diasystem