Morphosyntactic Reorganization Phenomena in Arbëresh Dialects: The Neuter
- internal reorganization of grammar,
Italo-Albanian communities show diff erent degrees of mixing between Arbresh, the local Albanian dialect, and the Romance variety in contact. In some Arberesh dialects the mixing is extensive, aff ecting lexicon, morpho-syntax and phonology. Contact and bilingualism favour changes in the internal organization of the grammar, as generally in the creolization processes (Savoia 2010; Manzini and Savoia 2015; Baldi and Savoia 2016). This contribution addresses the so-called neuter inflection that Arberesh dialects spoken in Southern Italian communities preserve, an inflection no longer surviving in standard and other varieties of Albanian, where masculine morphology has replaced it. Th e coincidence between the specialized -t neuter inflection in nominative and accusative and the plural inflection -t characterizing North-Calabrian Arberesh led Manzini and Savoia (2017a, 2017b, forthcoming) to connect this morphology with the interpretive properties associated to mass denotation. We hold on to this proposal that has the merit to explain the relation between plural and mass properties. In North-Lucanian and Apulian Arberesh systems this sub-set of nouns, while maintaining the infl ection -t, agrees in feminine. Th is result can be understood as a consequence of the reorganization that aff ected these partially mixed grammars, where the original morpho-syntactic mechanisms have been lost or modified.