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Elisabetta Magni

Professoressa ordinaria

Dipartimento di Lingue, Letterature e Culture Moderne

Settore scientifico disciplinare: L-LIN/01 GLOTTOLOGIA E LINGUISTICA

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Synchronic gradience and language change in Latin genitive constructions

Synchronic gradience and language change in Latin genitive constructions

Elisabetta Magni
University of Bologna
This paper builds on the conceptualization of synchronic variation in terms of gradience and, more specifically, on recent findings concerning constructional gradience. In this perspective, indeterminacy, ambiguity and variation in language use and language system, are observed to involve both the behavior of an element in a particular construction, and the boundary between construction types. After discussing phenomena of overlap and convergence in the domain of adnominal constructions in Latin, this study specifically addresses the evolution of genitive constructions. The spread of meanings/functions related to non-achoring relations is claimed to explain the increasing frequency of structures with postnominal dependents. The conclusions pinpoint the role of bridging and mixed constructions, also discussing the view of synchronic variation as both the context and the outcome of diachronic change.
In: Giacalone Ramat, Anna, Caterina Mauri and Piera Molinelli (eds.), Synchrony and Diachrony: A dynamic interface . 2013. xi, 450 pp. (pp. 177–200)

Synchrony and Diachrony

A dynamic interface

Edited by Anna Giacalone Ramat, Caterina Mauri and Piera Molinelli
University of Pavia / University of Bergamo
Hardbound – Available
ISBN 978 90 272 0600 8 EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
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The focus of this volume is on the relation between synchrony and diachrony. It is examined in the light of the most recent theories of language change and linguistic variation. What has traditionally been treated as a dichotomy is now seen rather in terms of a dynamic interface. The contributions to this volume aim at exploring the most adequate tools to describe and understand the manifestations of this dynamic interface. Thorough analyses are offered on hot topics of the current linguistic debate, which are all involved in the analysis of the synchrony-diachrony interface: gradualness of change, synchronic variation and gradience, constructional approaches to grammaticalization, the role of contact-induced transfer in language change, analogy. Case studies are discussed from a variety of languages and dialects including English, Welsh, Latin, Italian and Italian dialects, Dutch, Swedish, German and German dialects, Hungarian. This volume is of great interest to a broad audience within linguistics, including historical linguistics, typology, pragmatics, and areal linguistics.