5 novembre – Silvia Terenghi (Universiteit Utrecht)

Relatrice: Silvia Terenghi
Titolo: Romance ternary demonstrative systems as a probe into the architecture of person features
Orario e aula: 10:00, Lipsius/308

Demonstrative forms (e.g. this, there) encode deictic features, that define the location of a referent in the external world in relation to a deictic centre. In this talk, I will mainly address the change in the way deictic features are encoded in demonstrative systems in Romance varieties and I will put forward some theoretical implications thereof.
To do so, I will first introduce Romance demonstrative systems and define the deictic features encoded by demonstrative forms as deictic person features. The featural system I put forward makes some predictions: the one I will explore in greater detail relates to markedness. Ternary demonstrative systems are predicted to be more marked and, within ternary systems, the most marked spatial domain is predicted to be the addressee-related one. Then I will show that this prediction is borne out, by providing patterns of both diachronic evolution and change in contact. Finally, I will turn to what these evolution patterns suggest about the organisation of (deictic) person features, namely that they are not organised in a geometric fashion, and that instead they are ontologically equivalent operators, as in Harbour 2016.