Isogloss. Open Journal of Romance Linguistics 2023-03-15T21:39:31+01:00 Roberta D'Alessandro Open Journal Systems <p><em>Isogloss</em> is a journal of theoretical and experimental linguistics, with the Romance varieties as object of investigation.</p><p>Submissions are accepted for articles on any linguistic phenomenon in any Romance variety. No specific theoretical approaches are given any preference, but the articles need to have clear implications for the theory of language and should not be only descriptive in nature.</p> Activation levels 2023-02-13T08:57:30+01:00 Lena Baunaz Caterina Bonan <p>In the last five decades, French wh in-situ has been the center of much work in theoretical linguistics. Nonetheless, scholars still disagree on the distribution of these constructions, and on their interpretation. While whether or not wh in-situ is necessarily presuppositional has been debated for years (Cheng &amp; Rooryck 2000, Baunaz 2011, Shlonsky 2012, a.o.), we believe this question is too narrow. Here, we investigate the ESLO 1-2 corpora of spoken French and provide a fresh understanding of in-situ questions based on the notion of ‘discourse activation’ (Dryer 1996, Larrivée 2019a, Garassino 2022). By demonstrating both the passage from a predominantly ex-situ system to a predominantly in-situ system, and a significant augmentation of <em>non</em>-context-bound in-situ occurrences, we redefine the conditions under which these structures are licenced in Hexagonal French, and how they have evolved from a micro-diachronic perspective (1970s-2010s).</p> 2023-05-30T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Lena Baunaz, Caterina Bonan LexSIC 2023-03-15T21:39:31+01:00 Tanja Kupisch Sebastiano Arona Alexandra Besler Silvio Cruschina Maria Ferin Henrik Gyllstad Ilaria Venagli <p>It has been increasingly acknowledged that regional languages and dialects bear similarities with heritage languages, and that some heritage speakers are bilectal with two closely related minority languages or dialects. However, assessing the knowledge of non-standard varieties proves difficult due to the lack of assessment materials. Our contribution documents the creation and validation of LexSIC, a yes/no vocabulary task, a placement test for speakers with receptive and/or productive skills in Sicilian. The materials are freely available. The vocabulary items were validated in a survey with 100 speakers of Italian, who had varying levels of proficiency in Sicilian, including bilectal heritage speakers in Germany. We have relied on Classical Test Theory (CTT) and Item Response Theory (IRT) in validating test items and we demonstrate and discuss correlations with self-reported measures of proficiency, language use, age and education. A comparison of vocabulary proficiency in bilectals with Italian and Sicilian proficiency further shows that the two are highly correlated, which underlines a cumulative enhancement of vocabulary proficiency in bilectals. We discuss the challenges in creating assessment materials in minority languages and dialects.</p> 2023-05-17T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Tanja Kupisch, Sebastiano Arona, Alexandra Besler, Silvio Cruschina, Maria Ferin, Henrik Gyllstad, Ilaria Venagli Imperatives and their interaction with VP-ellipsis in Spanish 2022-09-20T18:14:07+02:00 María Florencia Silva <p>In this squib, I focus on the interaction between imperative formation and head stranding ellipsis in Spanish, with the aim of reassessing Martins’ (1994) generalization that head movement from V to the polarity-encoding head Σ is a necessary condition for licensing predicate ellipsis. The author argues that Spanish affirmative imperatives, derived by head movement to Σ, behave as predicted by the theory, giving rise to a particular instance of verb stranding ellipsis. In this paper, I show that Spanish does not have the type of ellipsis she predicts in affirmative imperatives. Putative examples of V-stranding XP-ellipsis in the relevant environments are analyzed here as involving some sort of exophoric null object, consistent with Masullo’s (2017) account. Thus, Spanish contrasts sharply with Portuguese, a language which does feature this variety of ellipsis. Consequently, there are important implications for the morphosyntax of Spanish imperatives, the licensing of ellipsis and, more broadly, the theory of head movement.</p> 2023-05-17T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2023 María Florencia Silva Diachronic change and variation in use 2022-11-28T10:25:59+01:00 Esther Rinke Sol Lago Carolina Andrea Gattei <p>Previous studies have demonstrated that in spontaneous speech, Rioplatense Spanish speakers—in contrast to speakers of Peninsular Spanish—sometimes produce clitic-doubled accusative nominal objects. If this contrast between varieties reflects different grammatical systems, it would be expected to also affect the acceptability of clitic doubling across varieties. We tested this hypothesis in a judgment study that compared the acceptability of dative and accusative clitic-doubled objects between Rioplatense and Peninsular Spanish speakers. Speakers of both varieties showed similar preferences with dative clitic doubling, consistent with previous work. By contrast, accusative clitic doubling was highly acceptable in Rioplatense Spanish, but not in Peninsular Spanish. Based on accounts of the diachronic development of clitic doubling, we argue that the Rioplatense speakers exhibit a diachronically advanced behavior compared to Peninsular Spanish speakers.</p> 2023-03-23T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Esther Rinke, Sol Lago, Carolina Andrea Gattei Francoprovençal: a spatial analysis of ‘partitive articles’ and potential correlates in Swiss and Italian varieties 2022-08-22T11:26:59+02:00 Tabea Ihsane Olivier Winistörfer Elisabeth Stark <p>In this paper, we focus on partitive articles (PAs), i.e., determiners which, generally, have an indefinite interpretation, and on one of their potential correlates, i.e., invariable de, in Francoprovençal, a non-standardized, highly endangered Gallo-Romance language (cf. Zulato, Kasstan &amp; Nagy 2018), and show the fine-grained spatial distribution of these elements in the Swiss and Aosta Valley (Italy) varieties. Presenting several maps based on fieldwork data from Valais (Switzerland) and the Aosta Valley (Italy), we demonstrate that the spatial distribution of PAs and de is more complex than reported in the literature: we complement the basic subdivision of Francoprovençal into two types, Francoprovençal A and B (cf. Kristol 2014, 2016), with a more nuanced picture, in which the morphosyntactic features of PAs play a crucial role: in Francoprovençal A, the presence of PAs depends on the syntactic context whereas, in Francoprovençal B, their presence is limited mainly to two areas, in which singular and plural PAs do not occur together (one area only has singular PAs whereas the other one only has plural PAs). We also show that there is no correlation between phonologically overt plural marking on nouns and absence of PAs; however, we found a correlation between overt <em>sigmatic</em> number marking on nouns and absence of PAs.</p> 2023-03-23T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Tabea Ihsane, Oliver Winistörfer, Elisabeth Stark A Classless Analysis of Italian Nouns and their Theme-Vowel Alternations 2022-07-29T08:53:10+02:00 Nicola Lampitelli Shanti Ulfsbjorninn <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>The decompositional, non-lexicalist, approach to word-structure and the theory of roots have proven highly rewarding. One grey area, however, comes from Romance since, rather than roots, the word structure primitive appears to be the stem: root + ‘stem-formative/theme vowel’. Regardless, there have been perspicacious decompositional accounts of Italian, however these are still marred by the large number of morphological/item-specific irregularities, motivating arbitrary noun classes. Additionally, there are roots that do not inflect: consonant-final and vowel-final forms when these are oxytonic or loanwords. Given these irregularities, previous analyses in Italian have included the use of lexical exceptions and class features. We challenge the use of class features in generating the attested patterns (and their exceptions). Instead, we propose a new categorisation of root-shapes, which, when combined with the exponents of nominal inflection, produce the correct surface pairings, as well as the non-alternating forms. In our analysis, there is no diacritic or special marking of lexical exceptions, all forms inflect regularly in accordance to their phonological shape. This requires the innovation of one new mechanism (Inhibition), but we back it up by showing that it leads to an unexpected beneficial prediction that solves a long-standing problem associated with <em>Raddoppiamento Sintattico</em> (RS).</p> </div> </div> </div> 2023-02-06T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Nicola Lampitelli, Shanti Ulfsbjorninn Comprehension of double-center embedded relatives in Italian: a case for hierarchical intervention 2022-11-19T23:52:32+01:00 Marco Sala Giulia Bettelli Beatrice Giustolisi Alessandra Vergallito Leonor Josefina Romero Lauro Carlo Cecchetto <p>Object relatives are more difficult to process than subject relatives. Several sentence processing models have been proposed to explain this difference. As double-center embedding relatives contain several long-distance dependencies, they are an ideal configuration to compare sentence processing models. The main aim of the present study was to compare the predictions of the featural Relativized Minimality approach with the ones of other relevant sentence processing models.</p> <p>57 Italian-speaking healthy adults answered comprehension questions concerning the first, second, or third verb to appear in both double-center embedding and control sentences. Results show that questions concerning the matrix verb of double-center embedding structures were significantly easier and were associated with faster response times than questions concerning the embedded verbs. Furthermore, in object double-center embedding relatives the questions concerning the verb of the most embedded clause were easier than the ones concerning the verb of the intermediate embedded clause.</p> <p>This pattern of results is consistent with featural Relativized Minimality but cannot be fully explained by other sentence processing models.<br /><br /></p> 2023-01-24T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Marco Sala, Giulia Bettelli, Beatrice Giustolisi, Alessandra Vergallito, Leonor Josefina Romero Lauro, Carlo Cecchetto