Linguistics and English Language

Meaning and grammar seminar

Speaker: Jessica Rita Messina (Università degli Studi di Padova)

Title: Functional items in Arbëreshë NPs

Abstract: This contribution aims to analyse the morpho-syntax of some NP functional items (determiners, finite inflection, pre-adjectival and pre-genitival linkers) of the Arbëreshe of Piana degli Albanesi (Palermo, Sicily) as indicators of language variation in a multilingual setting. After five centuries of intimate contact with Italo-Romance varieties (local dialects and Standard Italian), it is observable a morpho-syntactic reorganization within arbëreshë DPs, in terms of lexicalization of Definiteness: alongside regularly morphologically integrated borrowed Ns (cfr. Turano 2004, 2012; Savoia 2015), in which definiteness is realized by means of finite morphology (i.e. “enclitic Article”), several Romance DPs have been incorpotated without any morpho-syntactic adaptation (një çellularë / çellular-i ‘a mobile phone’/ ‘the mobile phone’ vs. një makina / ‘a makina ‘a car’/ ‘the car’). Their systematic and normed-like use seems to have led to a parallel structure, alternative to the albanian one, increasingly selected by speakers as a tool of Definiteness lexicalization (i.e. pre-posed Article). Moreover, the data on linkers and PPs show a general trend concerning a new distribution of Definiteness properties which apparently involves the whole Nominal domain. Overall, it is detectable an ongoing semantic and syntactic reanalysis of finite morphology/linkers (D category) as functional heads of an higher projection: the Upward Reanalysis (Roberts & Roussou 2003) suggests that Language contact produces more relevant changes in the external layers of phases


Seminars are organised by the meaning and grammar research group.

Meaning and grammar research group

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Nov 14 2023 -

Meaning and grammar seminar

2023-11-14: Functional items in Arbëreshë NPs

Room G26, Psychology Building, 7 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9JZ