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Journal Articles Isogloss. Open Journal of Romance Linguistics Year : 2024

As small as they seem? An experimental investigation of Italian bare participial sentences

Mauro Viganò
Carlo Cecchetto
Caterina Donati
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Abstract

We present the results of an experimental study designed to investigate the acceptability of bare participial structures in spoken Italian. These sentences, despite being extremely reduced, have full illocutionary force. For the study, we proposed a technique to elicit grammaticality judgements suitable for structures that, although productive, are not used in the written form of the language. Our aim is to investigate the validity of the structural analysis of these sentences (Cecchetto & Donati 2022) according to which they are generated as small as VPs and they are not elliptical structures, i.e., they are not the result of phonological deletions from full-fledged sentences. The findings globally confirm the predictions of that account, as only require the activation of projections beyond the VP-layer, are rated as fully acceptable. However, the corresponding negative structures and some reduced structures with active transitive predicates received intermediate judgments of acceptability, contrary to the predictions. In the paper, we try to account for these unexpected results and argue that phonological deletion is available as well but is subject to tight constraints; most notably, it is restricted to the top of the tree.
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Dates and versions

hal-04485454 , version 1 (01-03-2024)

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Mauro Viganò, Carlo Cecchetto, Caterina Donati. As small as they seem? An experimental investigation of Italian bare participial sentences. Isogloss. Open Journal of Romance Linguistics, 2024, 10 (1), pp.1-25. ⟨10.5565/rev/isogloss.367⟩. ⟨hal-04485454⟩
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