Microvariation in the second form of the infinitive in Campania

The case of the Valle Caudina

Authors

Abstract

Campanian dialects such as Neapolitan feature a so-called ‘second form of the infinitive’ (SFI), a form consisting of the bare verbal stem, which can be used after functional verbs. This paper addresses the microvariation concerning the construction by analysing novel data from the Valle Caudina, located to the northeast of Naples.

The SFI is frequently found specifically with the imperative va ‘go!’. In Neapolitan, the form has been reanalysed as an imperatival form in this context, yielding an asyndetic imperative. At a first glance, the use of the SFI in Valle Caudina looks very similar to its Neapolitan counterpart, but unlike Neapolitan, the SFI in these varieties has remained non-finite and has not been reanalysed as an imperative. These dialects can thus be considered a previous stage of the development described for Neapolitan by Ledgeway (1997, 2007, 2009). This claim finds support in the absence of metaphonetic forms - which have appeared in Neapolitan, as a consequence of the reanalysis - as well as the presence of clitic climbing. Finally, unlike Neapolitan, the SFI is becoming less productive in the varieties of the Valle Caudina.

Keywords

Campanian dialects, microvariation, second form infinitive, reanalysis, imperative

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Published

14-03-2024

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