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Auteur: Montserrat BATLLORI

Behind the grammaticalization path of three types of n-words in Catalan

Abstract/Résumé: This work provides a syntactic characterization of three different types of Catalan n-words, following Rizzi (1997) Theory of left periphery, and focuses on the elucidation of the factors that intervene in their semantic licensing. Minimizers, such as pas [< PASSU], see (2), gens [< GĚNUS], see (1a), gota [< GŬTTA], see (1b), and mica [<*MĪCCA < MĪCA], see (1c), behave in two different ways that can be told apart with reference to their discursive requirements: that is, pas has a counterpressupositional meaning, according to some speakers, whereas gens, gota, and mica are plain Negative Polarity Items and can be used out of the blue. The syntactic distribution of poc [< PAUCU], see (3a), and pla [< PLANE 'clearly, plainly'], see (4a), as Negative Emphatic Polarity Particles, also demand specific discursive requirements to be semantically licensed. Poc and pla come from a quantitative and a manner adverb, respectively, and still coexist with these adverbs, see (3b) and (4b), correspondingly. This study explains what triggers the negative value of these n-words on the historical pathways they follow to become either NPI or NEPP. The comparative standpoint in the analysis of Spanish poco and Catalan poc, on the one hand, and Italian mica and Catalan mica, on the other, sheds light on the syntactic and semantic mechanisms that intervened in the diachronic evolution of these items. (1) a. El no dejuna gens [DCVB: Hom. Org. 5 vo., sv. gens] b. No hi veig gota c. No ho sé mica [DCVB, sv. mica] (2) a. No l’he vist pas a en Joan [DCVB, sv. pas] b. No l’he pas vist a en Joan [DCVB, sv. pas] (3) a. Poc he vist en Joan aquesta tarda NEPP b. He vist poc en Joan aquesta setmana QUANTITATIVE VALUE (4) a. – Jo pla he estat el que t’ha fet aixó. –Sí, Josafat, fores tu i fores molt crudel. [CTILC: Prudenci Bertrana, Josefat: 59] NEPP b. La present ystòria he arromançada com pus pla he puscut [DCVB, sv. pla] MANNER VALUE References and sources Rizzi, L. 1997. The Fine Structure of the Left Periphery. In: Haegeman, L. (Ed.), Elements of Grammar. Handbook in Generative Syntax. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp. 281-337. [CTILC] Institut d’Estudis Catalans. Corpus Textual Informatitzat de la Llengua Catalana. [DCVB] Alcover, A. M. Moll, F. B. 2001-2002. Diccionari català-valencià-balear, IEC-Editorial Moll. [Alcover, A. M. Moll, F. B. 1930-1961. Diccionari català-valencià-balear: inventari lexical i etimològic de la llengua catalana. Moll, Palma de Mallorca.]