Article published in:Synchrony and Diachrony: A dynamic interface
Edited by Anna Giacalone Ramat, Caterina Mauri and Piera Molinelli
[Studies in Language Companion Series 133] 2013
► pp. 283–312
A case study on the relationship between grammatical change and synchronic variation
The emergence of tipo[-N] in Italian
Over recent decades the Italian word tipo (Eng. type) has developed numerous non-nominal uses. This paper seeks to address the issue of whether synchronic variation in the use of tipo reflects diachronic development. Findings indicate that, (1) the complex path of grammaticalization of tipo led to the availability of new signs for the expression of vagueness and approximation; (2) the distribution of different non-nominal uses of tipo varies in relation to different dimensions, the most relevant of which is the textual and register variation; (3) the co-presence of multiple meanings and functions of non-nominal tipo does not result in fuzzy morphosyntactic boundaries between different uses of the word, and differences between specific instances of tipo can be represented in terms of prototypical vs. less prototypical realization of categories.
Published online: 31 May 2013
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