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Coordinated constructional intensifiers: patterns, function and productivity

From the book Productive Patterns in Phraseology and Construction Grammar

  • Valentina Piunno


This investigation proposes a corpus-based description of a particular type of Italian phraseological construction, having a coordinated syntactic structure and playing the role of an intensifier. Through the analysis of data extracted from a corpus of Italian, the contribution aims at i) identifying and analysing different types of coordinated constructional intensifiers, ii) showing a formal representation of their syntactic-semantic schemas, iii) classifying them into different types on the basis of their functional, syntactic and semantic properties. The paper is structured as follows: the first section contains a brief description of the main types of intensifying strategies identified in the literature, deserving a special attention to Italian lexical strategies. The second section is devoted to the description of the general theoretical framework of this contribution, and to the analysis and definition of constructional intensifiers. The third section briefly describes the methods of data extraction and analysis. The fourth section is devoted to the analysis of Italian coordinated intensifying constructions, which are classified into completely and partially filled units, according to a set of parameters (i.e. lexical variation, syntactic cohesion, idiomaticity and lexicalisation). Then, the set of coordinated constructional intensifiers is evaluated against the presence of an abstract scheme, semantic and syntactic analysability, semantic predictability, productivity, and schematicity.

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