Caused Motion constructions between standard and substandard: entrare, uscire, salire and scendere in contemporary Italian


The paper presents the first quantitative investigation of the causative use of four Italian prototypically path-encoding verbs: entrare, uscire, salire, scendere (‘to enter’, ‘to exit’, ‘to ascend’, ‘to descend’) (Talmy 1985; Ricca 1993). These uses are gradually expanding from generally southern varieties to substandard Italian as well, as part of the general re-emergence of Umgangssprache features. We use Construction Grammar as a reference framework and interpret the phenomenon as the gradual standardization (via lexicalization) of a coercion phenomenon. Specifically, we investigate the role of both linguistic (i.e. animacy of the referent of the second argument) and sociolinguistic (i.e. dialectal competence) factors on the standardization of the analysed verbs. The study consists of two acceptability ratings tasks on three datasets, tested on two different groups of subjects. Main findings are consistent with our hypotheses: the four verbs show different degrees of acceptability, and dialectal proficiency is shown to significantly influence Caused Motion Construction use. Animacy is also shown to significantly affect acceptability. Moreover, salire and scendere uses in Caused Motion Constructions is found to be likely influenced by their standard transitive use.

Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Construction Grammar,Italian,motion verbs,sociolinguistics
Publication ISSN: 1120-2726
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2024 07:42
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2022 11:38
Full Text Link: https://www.ita ... sso-Romagno.pdf
Related URLs: https://www.ita ... (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-12-31
Accepted Date: 2021-12-01
Submitted Date: 2019-12-31
Authors: Busso, Lucia (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-5665-771X)
Romagno, Domenica



Version: Published Version

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