V. 61 N. 2 (2023)

A refinement of the definition of Manner and its expression through Italian indefinites

Gina Russo
Università degli Studi dell'Insubria

Pubblicato 2024-01-24


The aim of this paper is to study how Manner is coded in Italian through expressions other than the verb, specifically investigating expressions containing the paucal indefinites niente (“nothing”), qualcosina (“something.DIM.”), poc-/po’ (“a few”, “a little”), certo (“a certain”) and the pattern N/V [da N/V] (“N/V[da.PREP. N/V]”), such as: come niente (“in an effortless way”), mangiamo qualcosina (“let’s eat together spending some time leisurely”) scrive un po’ (“s/he writes without commitment”), certi sguardi (“certain peculiar looks”), sguardi da far paura (“scary looks”). This work complements the vast literature on the subject, mainly focused on manner of motion verbs. For this purpose, 6000 occurrences were extracted and analysed using a corpus-based and corpus-driven approach. The hypothesis is that paucal indefinite items semantically change along a path of the type Quantity > Quality > Manner. The results substantiate this hypothesis and help refine the definition of Manner from an onomasiological point of view.

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