Chapter in:Building Categories in Interaction: Linguistic resources at work
Edited by Caterina Mauri, Ilaria Fiorentini and Eugenio Goria
[Studies in Language Companion Series 220] 2021
► pp. 296–316
Et cetera, eccetera, etc. The development of a general extender from Latin to Italian
This paper discusses the range of functions of et cetera in Latin, as well as the multifunctionality and evolution of eccetera in Italian. Both forms pertain to the category of general extenders, i.e. markers whose main function is to ‘extend’ otherwise grammatically complete utterances. We will propose a qualitative analysis based on data from Latin, Old Italian, and contemporary written and spoken Italian. In particular, we will discuss the semantic-pragmatic expansion of et cetera and eccetera, highlighting how both expressions tend to develop intersubjective and procedural meanings in addition to their original functions. Moreover, since the original components of eccetera are by now blurred in contemporary Italian, we will show how recent developments allow its use in disjunctive contexts.
Keywords: general extenders, Latin, Italian, intersubjectivity