Article published in:Deixis and Pronouns in Romance Languages
Edited by Kirsten Jeppesen Kragh and Jan Lindschouw
[Studies in Language Companion Series 136] 2013
► pp. 69–84
On the grammar of kinship
Possessive enclisis in Italian dialects
The semantic category of kinship is reflected in the pronominal system of Italian and its dialects. Standard usage prefers the form mio padre over *il mio padre. Among south Italian dialects, the possessive appears in enclisis on the head noun, as in patreme (Molise). Possessive enclisis is exclusively attested with kinship nouns and the construction is subject to a restriction on definiteness, since speakers reject the definite article as in *il patreme. This paper gives an overview of the grammatical and semantic properties of such constructions in two Italian dialects of the south. Moreover, a brief comparison is made with Scandinavian dialects that to some extent exhibit similar phenomena. It is argued that the grammatical phenomena have a universal origin related to the notion of uniqueness.
Published online: 14 November 2013
Cited by 1 other publications
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