Evaluative Affixes In Italian

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Book Chapter

Publication Date


Published In

Yearbook Of Morphology


Italian nouns and adjectives make use of almost two dozen evaluative affixes (to borrow Scalise’s 1984 term), most of which can also be found on verbs. While a few of these affixes are strongly productive on N and A and weakly productive on V, today most of those that occur on V are lexicalized (though not all; see Cortelazzo & Cardinale 1989). Nevertheless, their evaluative sense is obvious, and their occurrence suggests a period in the history of Italian (from around 1300 to 1600, judging by Cortelazzo & Zolli 1979) when all these affixes were productive. Since prepositions in Italian form an inert class with respect to morphology (with the exception of portmanteau preposition-articles, as in Napoli & Nevis 1987) and always have in the history of Italian, it is natural that these affixes did not occur on P. Thus, evaluative suffixes did occur on all morphologically relevant categories. This means that most evaluative affixes went through a period when they did not select for category.

Published By

Springer Netherlands

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