Luisa Corona Gina Russo

Italian deverbal verbs in -Vcchiare: a Manner of Approximating

Are you already subscribed?
Login to check whether this content is already included on your personal or institutional subscription.


In this work, we propose an analysis of Italian verbs containing the suffix -Vcchiare, such as leggiucchiare ‘read a little/read in a cursory fashion’, mangiucchiare ‘eat a little/nibble’, studiacchiare ‘study a little/study fitfully’. We propose to consider the semantic contribution of the suffix in the formation of these deverbal verbs as intrinsically underspecified: -Vcchiare can be used either as an evaluative suffix, conveying Approximation, or it can instead function as a derivational suffix, encoding a non-prototypical Manner of performing the action encoded by the base verb. We define Manner as the specific description of the way in which an action is performed; i.e. the suffix -Vcchiare can be employed to express a deviation – perceived as salient by the speaker – from the typical properties of the event encoded by the base verb. The meaning of the verbs containing the -Vcchiare suffix is normally clarified by speakers in context, thanks to various linguistic means and strategies that reinforce the general sense of Approximation or make explicit the way in which the verb deviates from the supposed prototypical performance of the action encoded by the base verb. Through a corpus-based analysis, in which we take into account the pragmatic strategies used by speakers and the markers which co-occur with -Vcchiare verbs in context, we noticed the substantial context dependency of the meaning expressed by the suffix


  • evaluative morphology
  • derivational morphology
  • approximation
  • manner encoding


Article first page

What do you think about the recent suggestion?

Trova nel catalogo di Worldcat