Vol. 5 (2019)

Reduplication as a Strategy for "-ever" Free Relatives: Semantic and Syntactic Observations*

Giuseppina Silvestri
Laboratorio editoriale OA / Dip. LILSI
Published August 29, 2019
  • Italian Dialects,
  • Free-choice Pronouns,
  • Syntactic Reduplication
How to Cite
Silvestri, G. (2019). Reduplication as a Strategy for "-ever" Free Relatives: Semantic and Syntactic Observations*. Quaderni Di Linguistica E Studi Orientali, 5, 279-304. https://doi.org/10.13128/QULSO-2421-7220-25969


Italo-Romance varieties display a typologically rare strategy to realize the unconditional (or free-choice) free relative clauses, i.e. the reduplication of the verb complex. The semantic entailment of unconditionality is not conveyed through the lexicalization of a morpheme corresponding to -ever. Also, the modal force of the semantic operator does not match the selection of the subjunctive morphology, which is not available in most Italian dialects. The ItaloRomance varieties of our sample resort to structural reduplication as the only strategy to express the unconditionality requirement of this type of free relative clauses. In this contribution, I compare unconditionals across Italian dialects and other Romance varieties on the basis of their morphosyntactic properties. In the analysis of the reduplication structure I link the derivation of unconditional free relatives with the semantic and syntactic aspects of free-choice indefinite pronouns. I finally propose a unifying formal account of two types of reduplication configurations, both corresponding to unconditional free relatives, both available across Italo-Romance.


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