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Indefinites between Latin and Romance$
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Chiara Gianollo

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198812661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198812661.001.0001

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Aliquis from Latin to Romance

Aliquis from Latin to Romance

(p.88) 3 Aliquis from Latin to Romance
Indefinites between Latin and Romance

Chiara Gianollo

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates some crucial steps in the evolution of the continuations of Latin aliquis ‘some (or other)’ in the Standard Romance languages. These historical developments represent parallel instantiations of the Quantifier Cycle, a process of change involving indefinites which is well-attested crosslinguistically. The guiding hypothesis is that emphatic strengthening is a decisive factor in the Quantifier Cycle, much like what is observed with the development of negation in Jespersen’s Cycle. What the Quantifier Cycle and Jespersen’s Cycle have in common is the fact that focus interacts with the implicatures triggered by the lexical items in certain grammatical contexts (most notably and clearly, negation) and this results in systematic meaning effects that become conventionalized (grammaticalized) in the course of time. In this case study from the history of Romance, the emphatic semantic component leads to a peculiar grammaticalization pattern also involving the syntactic structure of the DP hosting the indefinite.

Keywords:   Quantifier Cycle, Jespersen’s Cycle, indefinite, aliquis, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, French, Italian

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