The Substance and Value of Italian Si

ORCID logoJoseph Davis | The City College of New York
ISBN 9789027215840 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027265272 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
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This book offers an original treatment of the Italian clitic si. Sharply separating encoded grammar from inference in discourse, it proposes a unitary meaning for si, including impersonals, passives, and reflexives. Si signals third-person participancy but makes no distinctions of number, gender, or case role. The analysis advances the Columbia School framework by relying on just these straightforward oppositions, attributing variety of interpretation largely to language use rather than to grammar. The analysis places si within a network of oppositions involving all the other clitics. Data come primarily from twentieth-century and more recent published and on-line literature. The book will be of interest to functional linguists, students of reflexivity, and scholars of the Italian language.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“This book provides an original and innovative analysis of the entire Italian pronoun system, as well as enlightening critiques of such traditional linguistic concepts as transitive/intransitive, reflexive, impersonal, passive, and subject. A special strength is the close attention to examples drawn from actual language use, together with quantitative data in support of the author’s analysis.”
“A richly compelling and highly innovative study of one of the most intractable problems in the syntax of Italian, and of Romance more generally. Davis offers a rigorous semantic analysis demonstrating that the received categories of traditional and formal syntax and semantics represent a blind alley, and that an analysis based on contextualized evidence transcending the boundaries of the sentence produces a much deeper understanding of the underlying principles that actually guide the use of language.”
“Do not be fooled by the title! Davis’s exquisite, well-written book deserves to be read by anyone and everyone interested in the semantic and pragmatic analysis of grammatical systems (no matter their own theoretical background).”
Cited by

Cited by 5 other publications

Davis, Joseph
2018. Spooky grammatical effects. In Questioning Theoretical Primitives in Linguistic Inquiry [Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics, 76],  pp. 133 ff. DOI logo
Hesseltine, Kelli & Joseph Davis
2020. The communicative function of adjective-noun order in English. <i>WORD</i> 66:3  pp. 166 ff. DOI logo
Reid, Wallis
2019. The object of explanation for linguistics. In Columbia School Linguistics in the 21st Century [Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics, 77],  pp. 103 ff. DOI logo
Stern, Nancy
2019. Introduction. In Columbia School Linguistics in the 21st Century [Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics, 77],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Whitty, Lauren
2022. Repositioning Can: Modifications to the English “Modal” System. <i>WORD</i> 68:4  pp. 439 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 10 february 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2017018283 | Marc record