This book explores sets of movement cases in medieval Italian from 1200 to 1315. It offers an integrated description of all the relevant aspects of word order in Old Italian based on uniform principles (analysing the left periphery of the sentence, of the verbal phrase, and of the determiner phrase, and the interaction of these structures with quantification and negation). From the theoretical point of view, it considers the possibilities of a syntactic model in which the (left) edges of the constituents play an essential role in determining the possible structures. The author suggests that Old Italian has a rule preposing topic and focus elements to dedicated positions not only in the left periphery of the complementizer phase but also in the left periphery of other phases. She also provides an account of the apparent optional negative concord pattern exhibited by Old Italian in terms of dedicated positions.
The book concludes with a summary of the various types of preposing presented in the book, arguing that all cases of optionality can be resolved within a single grammar and without need to resort to the double base hypothesis, which requires competence of the speakers on two different grammatical systems. The book makes important contributions to the medieval history of Italian, to Romance historical linguistics, and to the study of diachronic syntactic change more generally.
Cecilia Poletto is Full Professor of Romance Linguistics at the University of Frankfurt am Main. Her research topics include diachronic and synchronic micro-variation in Romance dialects, and she is part of the research group which set up the online syntactic atlas of the dialects of Italy (ASit). Her publications include The Higher Functional Field: Evidence from the North Italian Dialects (OUP 2000) and La sintassi del soggetto nei dialetti italiani settentrionali (Unipress 1993)
1. The Old Italian left periphery ; 2. Scrambling in vP ; 3. Scrambling in the DP phase ; 4. The vP left periphery in different sentence types ; 5. Quantifier movement ; 6. Negative words ; 7. The grammar of OI in a broader perspective