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Title: A case of incomplete Jespersen's cycle in Romance
Authors: Garzonio, Jacopo
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Padova, Unipress
Abstract: In this paper, I examine some diachronic and synchronic aspects of the syntax of negative expressions in Florentine, a dialect of Central Italy. More precisely, I describe and analyze the development of the negative adverb punto (lit. „point‟). This element was in origin a minimizer (in the sense of Horn 1989), and in early stages of Florentine became a postverbal marker used to strengthen the negation. This change is a typical first step in the well known process called Jespersen‟s cycle (Jespersen 1917), whereby the preverbal negative marker of a language is firstly weakened, then strengthened by a postverbal element and finally supplanted by it. As I will show, a crucial difference between a typical Jespersen‟s cycle and the historical development of negation in Florentine is that Florentine never lost the preverbal negative marker and punto has been kept as an aspectual/intensity adverb, corresponding to „at all‟.
Appears in Collections:Rivista di Grammatica Generativa : Research in Generative Grammar (RGG)

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