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Italian Deverbal Compounds: Morphology, Syntax or Either? (talk recording available)

Roberto Zamparelli

Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 01:00pm - 02:00pm

University of Trento, Centro Interdipartimentale Mente e Cervello (CiMEC), Dipartimento di Scienze della Cognizione e de

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The Deverbal Nominal Construction of modern Italian, a family of
compounds illustrated in (1)

(1) Raccolta municipale rifiuti tossici
Collection municipal garbage toxic
"Municipal collection of toxic waste"

poses serious theoretical challenges for a morphological theory of
linguistic compounding: it is fully productive, recursive, it allows
conjunction, internal pronominal reference and definite meanings, yet
it does away with determiners and most prepositions.

In this talk, I will present data based on systematic corpus analysis
and judgment elicitation experiments, showing that this constructions
are actually a spurious class, including both true morphological
compounds and constructions that belong to the a syntactic subdomain
typical of signs, titles and headlines, possibly related to the syntax
of proper names.


The proposal illustrates the potential of corpus-based text analyzes and web-based judgment extraction techniques to address (and "clean up")
problems in theoretical linguistics.

To view a recording of this talk click here (You will need a Rutgers NetID and password)

Roberto Zamparelli