Nicola Grandi

Matrici tipologiche vs. tendenze areali nel mutamento morfologico. La genesi della morfologia valutativa in prospettiva interlinguistica

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The paper proposes a diachronic survey in the field of the so-called evaluative morphology in a cross-linguistic perspective. My main aim is to reconstruct, going backwards, the genesis of diminutive and augmentative suffixes, in order to single out both their semantic archetypes and possible common stages recurring in their evolutive processes. The theoretical framework is the wellknown "dynamic typology". As for diminutives, the hypothesis I defend in this paper is that their semantic value took its first steps in the designation of genealogical relation between the adult and the young. As for augmentatives, a diachronic investigation reveals that it is really difficult to single out recurrent and common stages in their evolutive processes. So, in a cross-linguistic perspective, the development of diminutives (a "stable" phenomenon in Greenberg's terms) seems to take place according to a strong typological matrix, while in the genesis of augmentatives (a "frequent" phenomenon in Greenberg's terminology) areal constraints seem to be prevalent.


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