Publication details [#65710]

Sansò, Andrea and Ilaria Fiorentini. 2019. From digressive marker to topic shifter and beyond. The case of Italian tra parentesi (‘in brackets’). Journal of Pragmatics 141 : 102–115.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher


This paper assays the functions of the phrasal adverb fra parentesi (lit. ‘in brackets’) in modern Italian. Tra parentesi chiefly acts as digressive marker, and has lately evolved novel uses as topic shifter, focus marker, and turn-taking tool. There seem to be notable links between these novel functions and the position of tra parentesi in the utterance (utterance-medial vs. utterance-initial). A diachronic script is presented clarifying how the new functions may have appeared out of the initial digressive function.