Contact between Italian and dialect in Sicily: the case of phrasal verb constructions

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The Phrasal Verb Constructions (PVCs) are an interesting example of the intertwining between Italian and dialects of Italy. These constructions are formed by a verbal base (especially of motion), and a locative or direction marking particle and exist in standard Italian as well as in regional varieties of Italian and dialects (i.e. Italian andare via 'go away', mettere giù 'put down'). Because of their progressive diffusion in different varieties of regional Italian, PVCs can be construed as an emerging feature increasingly accepted in regional standards. In this perspective, PVCs are an example of the contact between varieties that contribute to the restandardization of contemporary Italian. The aim of the chapter is to analyze PVCs in Sicilian and in regional Italian spoken in Sicily showing that their diffusion can be explained as an effect of the linguistic contact between dialect and Italian. As empirical basis of data it will be used the corpus of regional Italian of Sicily and Sicilian of ALS - Atlante Linguistico della Sicilia ('Linguistic Atlas of Sicily') that allows to highlight processes of linguistic convergence between different varieties. Through a descriptive and a contrastive approach will take into account the syntactic and semantic features of the PVC occurrences in the ALS corpus to bring out similarities and differences between the use of the PVCs in contemporary varieties of Sicily and the use of PVCs in old Sicilian (scripta of XIV-XV centuries). This diachronic perspective will highlight the innovative use of PVCs in the contemporary varieties of Sicily that can also depend on the contact with other Italian varieties.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteTowards a New Standard. Theoretical and Empirical Studies on the Restandardization of Italian
Numero di pagine24
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017

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