Domenica Romagno

Caused motion constructions in northern Calabria: object animacy and the role of dialect

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This paper addresses the use and distribution of caused motion constructions with directional motion verbs in the regional Italian and dialectal varieties of Cosenza, Rende and Rogliano, in Northern Calabria, and aims at clarifying: the principles governing the interface between syntax and semantics in these constructions; the pattern of interaction between dialect and regional Italian. The results of the study reported here show that: (i) the degree of (potential) agentivity of the undergoer argument (the theme) of the constructions affects their distribution: animacy appears to function as an epiphenomenon of agentivity; (ii) the influence of dialect on regional Italian is not simply related to the frequency of usage of these constructions in the local varieties, but it is manifested in the organization of the principles that govern the distribution of these constructions and determine their pattern of extension.


  • Regional Italian
  • syntax/semantics interface
  • motion events
  • verb argument features


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