Tuesday, 4 June, 4.00-5 pm: Laura Migliori and Giuseppe Torcolacci

Splitting and clustering grammatical information: the case of auxiliary selection in southern Italian dialects

Southern Italian dialects (SIDs) show a particular mechanism of selection of perfective auxiliaries in the active voice (cfr. D’Alessandro & Roberts (2010), Giammarco (1973), Manzini & Savoia (2005) a.o.). In these dialects, BE and HAVE auxiliaries are not selected according to the verbal class of the participle they combine with (cfr. Italian ho mangiato (HAVE.1sg eaten, I have eaten) versus sono andato (AM.1sg gone, I have gone)), but strictly conditioned by the person feature expressed on the sentential subject.

(1) a.       sɔ/si/ʃemə/ʃetə ‘viʃtə/dər’mi:tə/ve’nutə                            ‘viʃtə/dər’mi:tə/ve’nutə
                BE.1sg/BE.2sg/BE.1pl/BE.2pl seen/slept/come          seen/slept/come
               ‘I/you/we have seen/slept/come’
b.            a                                                                                             ‘viʃtə/dər’mi:tə/ve’nutə
                HAVE.3                                                                                  seen/slept/come
               ‘he/she/it has seen/slept/come

Southern Marchigiano [Manzini & Savoia, 2005]

The example in (1) indicates that BE is selected only in the presence of a subject being of 1st and 2nd sg/pl. Conversely, in the case of a 3rd person subject, the auxiliary selected is HAVE. The goal of the talk is twofold: in the first place, the diachronic development of the phenomenon of auxiliary selection in SIDs will be taken into consideration. In this part, a comparison between the system of auxiliation of SIDs and other Romance languages, both from a diachronic and in synchronic perspective, will be presented. The last part will concentrate on the typology of auxiliary selection in SIDs. Namely, it will be shown that the pattern shown in (1) is not the only one found in these dialects, but a very rich microvariation affecting BE/HAVE alternation in the present perfect is at hand in the spoken varieties nowadays.