Idiomatic Constructions in Italian

A Lexicon-Grammar approach

| University of Salerno
ISBN 9789027231413 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027269300 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
This study is devoted to the analysis of Italian idioms with either ordinary or support verbs (also called light verbs). The research focuses on the exhaustive description of idioms, and is based on their systematic classification according to the principles of the Lexicon-Grammar methodology developed by Maurice Gross (1975, 1979 and further). A thorough examination of the literature shows strong disagreement on the acceptability of some idiomatic constructions. For this reason, the Web was used as a corpus to verify judgments on the supposed ungrammatical constructions. This approach showed that idiomatic constructions which have always been considered ungrammatical are instead perfectly acceptable if contextualized. The results obtained include the following: passive is not a "special case" when it concerns idioms, and idiomatic constructions show the same complexity as non-idiomatic constructions.
[Lingvisticæ Investigationes Supplementa, 31]  2014.  vi, 259 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Ambiguity and creativity
Chapter 2. Compositionality and syntactic productivity
Chapter 3. The Lexicon-Grammar of Italian idioms
Chapter 4. Passive
Chapter 5. Si-constructions
Chapter 6. Adjectival passive
Chapter 7. Subject idioms
Chapter 8. Other syntactic constructions
Chapter 9. Modification
Chapter 10. Comparative constructions
Chapter 11. Derived nominals and VC compounds
Chapter 12. Nominalizations and passive
Chapter 13. Idioms with support verbs
Chapter 14. Natural language processing
Annex 1. The passive of tirare
Annex 2: Idioms and "body-parts" nouns
Annex 3: Classification and notations
“In this work Vietri confronts current linguistic and psycholinguistic approaches to idioms with an extensive web-based empirical study of Italian idioms in the contexts of their actual usage. Her findings will be invaluable both to researchers in the cognitive sciences of language and to linguists interested in Italian grammar and the lexicon.”
“Prof. Vietri's study demonstrates the continuity between idiomatic and non-idiomatic expressions: her extensive collection of corpus examples shows that semantic opacity, syntactic flexibility, and lexical specificity are scalar properties. Hence, contrary to what has been assumed in most work in theoretical syntax, idioms are not categorically different from other constructions. This book will be the definitive work on Italian idioms for years to come.”
“The basic assumption of this book is provocative: There is no essential distinction between idioms on the one hand and non-idiomatic constructions on the other. You can agree or disagree, but the data and the analyses presented in support of this assumption cannot be neglected.”
“[T]here is no doubt that it is the fruit of an exhaustive and in-depth analysis and represents an important contribution to Italian phraseology.”
“The book offers the reader a comprehensive view of the most significant recent research on idioms carried out both in linguistics and experimental psychology, and provides an exhaustive description of the linguistic model adopted and of Italian idioms with ordinary or support (or light verbs) backed up by an extensive web-based empirical study in the contexts of their actual usage, thus casting a new light on this complex linguistic phenomenon and its syntactic productivity.”


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BIC Subject: CF/2ADT – Linguistics/Italian
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2014030026