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Passives and Constructions that resemble passives

  • Anna Giacalone Ramat EMAIL logo
From the journal Folia Linguistica


This paper has two goals: First it offers some theoretical reflections on the relations between grammaticalization and constructionalization. Secondly, the paper discusses a case study as an instance of constructionalization, arguing in favor of the passive interpretation of the Italian construction formed by the verb vedersi ‘to see oneself’ followed by the past participle. The synchronic description of the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic features of this construction in Modern Italian is accompanied by a diachronic investigation based on a corpus of texts from the thirteenth century on. Results show the gradual emergence of the passive interpretation through reanalysis of a reflexive construction and the development of idiosyncratic semantic and pragmatic features distinguishing the vedersi-construction from the standard essere ‘be’-passive.


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Published Online: 2017-11-10
Published in Print: 2017-11-27

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