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On Italian Adverbs

Rampoldi, B; (1993) On Italian Adverbs. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This work considers the properties and distribution of adverbs in Italian sentences. The treatment afforded to the Italian adverb by non-generative reference and school grammars dating back to various historical periods, but with particular emphasis on the XX century is analyzed. This analysis clearly shows the serious inadequacies of such treatment and points to several problems and shortcomings. This study then proceeds to take into account the treatment proposed for the adverb by generative grammar in the last twenty years. Through a comprehensive comparison between generative grammar proposals for the adverb in English and French, the results and predicted outcomes are extended to Italian, in an attempt to test the validity of their assumptions. This work clearly confirms the validity of generative grammar proposals across languages, but it also underlines some significant differences displayed by the adverb in Italian. By extending the analysis to more recent generative grammar proposals specific for Italian, this work shows their success in accounting for a large proportion of adverbial facts. The same proposals are applied with a good degree of success to a comprehensive corpus of adverbial data taken from works of modern Italian literature. This study then considers the progress made in the treatment of adverbs by Italian grammars and points to a proposed analysis in which the contribution given by non-generative and generative grammar to our understanding of the adverb is a balanced one, highlighting the advantages of a theory which goes beyond sterile classifications and promotes a closer co-operation between disciplines in the field of linguistics. Finally, this study underlines that certain aspects of the distribution of adverbs can be given a more satisfactory explanation than others, and that in some cases no solutions are yet forthcoming, or that two or more proposals can efficiently account for the same problem. In the last section of this work the problems of teaching the adverb to Italian students and foreign students of Italian are briefly addressed, and the feasibility of useful changes to non-generative school grammars of Italian is clearly shown, toward a far better account of the adverb.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: On Italian Adverbs
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104468
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