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Auteur: Rossella IOVINO

The internal and External Syntax of Latin Nominal Expressions from Latin to Romance

Abstract/Résumé: The present proposal is part of a wider research still in progress, which aims at an in-depth study of the syntactic development of Nominal Expressions both synchronically in Romance languages, including the diatopic variation (dialects vs. standard Italian), and diachronically from early Latin to Romance (cf. Ledgeway 2012). The analysis will deal with two main aspects: 1. The diachronic evolution of the nominal left-periphery. 2. The new values assumed by ille, which evolves into article and clitic in the passage from Latin to Romance. For this purpose, a corpus of late-antique literary texts will be considered, including Mulomedicina Chironis analyzed up to now. As regards the first point, the presentation will provide a general hypothesis on the basis of the following evidence from Romance languages: a. Differently from Latin, in a cross-Romance parametric perspective, only Romanian, Spanish, Catalan and Occitan allow for a postnominal position of demonstratives. b. Contrary to what is found in Latin, the position of the noun in the nominal hierarchy appears to be quite fixed in most Romance varieties. c. The most attested order for modifiers in the NEs in modern Romance is N > Adir > Aindir with the indirect modification adjective following the direct modification adjective. This is partially different from what is found in Latin where the opposite orders are also attested (Spevak 2008, Pomino&Stark 2009, Iovino 2012). Concerning the evolution of ille, it will be assumed that it is the strong determiner inserted into SpecDP. However, in late Latin (cf. Harris 1978, Hawkins 1978, Lyons 1999; Giusti 2001, Barra-Jover 2010, Ledgeway 2012) it undergoes semantic weakening (loss of the deictic value of “distality”) and becomes a discourse-anaphoric operator, also checked in the same position. As regards the development of the distal demonstrative, ille is replaced by a newly formed distal demonstrative ECCU-ille (Salvi&Renzi 2010), analyzed by Cardinaletti&Giusti 2009 as [DP que [D’ [D° -l/la/i/le]]]. As for the proximal demonstrative, given that hic is monosyllabic, it is replaced by a new proximal demonstrative ECCU-iste, parallel to ECCU-ille. Therefore, it might be a case of grammaticalization (Renzi 1997; Roberts&Roussou 2003).