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The Interpretation of Indefinites with Adnominal Adjectives in the Sicilian Dialects

Vincenzo Nicolò Di Caro    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    

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abstract

Indefinite nominals can typically be modified by pre- or postnominal adjectives in Romance languages. With the exception of a small group of adjectives concerning physical or moral characteristics whose meaning changes according to their pre- or postnominal use, the position of an attributive adjective does not alter its meaning. However, prenominal adjectives in a Spanish indefinite trigger its specific interpretation, thus preventing its variable reading; the same phenomenon obtains also in Catalan. The aim of this paper is to discuss specific cases in some Sicilian dialects – mainly in the dialect of Delia (province of Caltanissetta) – in order to provide further evidence of the fact that prenominal evaluative adjectives force the specific interpretation of indefinites in Romance. Since Sicilian dialects do not typically display prenominal adjectives, this paper will therefore draw on elatives to check whether Sicilian shows a parallel restriction in the postnominal position.

Published
Sept. 30, 2016
Accepted
Aug. 1, 2016
Submitted
April 12, 2016
Language
IT

Keywords: ElativesNon-specific interpretationSicilian dialectsQualificative adjectives

Copyright: © 2016 Vincenzo Nicolò Di Caro. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.