Chapter published in:Intermediate Language Varieties: Koinai and regional standards in Europe
Edited by Massimo Cerruti and Stavroula Tsiplakou
[Studies in Language Variation 24] 2020
► pp. 125–148
From dialect to standard: Facilitating and constraining factors
On some uses of the Italian negative particle mica
This paper deals with the selection of morphosyntactic features in Italo-Romance. Firstly, a brief overview will be provided of the language space between traditional dialects and the standard variety of Italian, with particular emphasis on how this space is shaped differently across Italo-Romance. Next, the main dynamics underlying the inclusion of dialect features within the standard will be considered through the analysis of a representative case, i.e. the behaviour of the Italian negative particle mica (< Latin MICAM ‘crumb’) in declarative clauses. Drawing on both previous literature and corpus-based data, the focus will fall on the reasons why some uses of mica are selected as standard and others are not. Special attention will be paid to the role of salience as both a facilitating and a constraining factor.
Keywords: Italian, Italo-Romance dialects, selection of features, language contact, salience, negative particles,
Published online: 22 June 2020
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