Talk: The focalizing adverbs também/anche and negation

The Left Periphery phenomena in Italian and European Portuguese

In this talk, I will give an analysis of the adverbs "também" and "anche" and their negative counterparts in European Portuguese and Italian to use this analysis to show parallels between different kinds of left peripheries (here on the level of the CP/VP and of DP).

European Portuguese (EP) and Italian (It) have both equivalent focalizing additive adverbs: também (1a) and anche (1b).

(1) a. Saramago também escreveu contas […] (CRPC 2012, EP)
Saramago also wrote tales
‘Saramago wrote also tales […].’

b. I due hanno anche comentato il presunto […] PAISÀ 2012, It)
‘The both have also commented the issue […].’

In this talk, I want to speak about their similarities and differences in terms of position, meaning, and negation. Thus, the first question of this talk is: How can one explain these differences and similarities within the phrase structure? Aside from that, I also want to answer the question, if a) these focalizing adverbs can be adjuncts because both elements can be left away without making a sentence ungrammatical in general (see Raposo 2013:1183-1184), or b) if they take their place in a functional phrase like Cinque (1999) suggests for adverbs in general. For this study, I use language material from two corpora of contemporary language, for European Portuguese, it is the Reference Corpus of Contemporary Portuguese: Only Portugal (CRPC 2012) and for Italian, it is the PAISÀ Corpus of Italian Web Texts (PAISÀ 2014). For additional information, I used grammaticality tests with native speakers.
Speaking of the semantics of both elements, it is important to say that they add meaning to a sentence by relating to something that was said before and adding an element to this context (see Rullmann 2013:335). In (2a), também adds the subject Laura to the group of people who wrote a book, i.e. it is not just Kübra, but now also Laura, who wrote a book. Without também there would not be any connection to former authors.
Moreover, they focus an element in the sentences (see Rullmann 2013:335). Depending on the intonation and position of the focalizing adverb, one can focalize different phrases in the sentences (2) (see Raposo 2013:1673-1674).

(2) a. Também a Laura escreveu um livro. (EP, cf. Raposo 2013:1673-1674)
also the Laura wrote a book
‘Also Laura wrote a book (and not just Kübra).’

b. A Laura também escreveu um livro. (EP, cf. Raposo 2013:1673-1674)
the Laura also wrote A book
‘Laura wrote also a book.’

In (2a) também just focalizes the subject of the sentences, i.e. a Laura, while in (2b) it can focalize different parts of the sentences depending on the intonation (Raposo 2013:1673-1674).
Concerning negation (3), in European Portuguese one uses the negator não behind também to negate the following phrase (3a), while in Italian there is a adverb for the negation of anche: neanche (3b). To explain this behavior, Franco et al. (2016) is a useful source, where the Old Italian and Modern Italian focalizing adverb anche and its negation within phrase structure have been analyzed. For their phrase structure model, they use the split Complementizer Phrase (CP) based on Rizzi (1997) and say that it is the specifier of the Focus Phrase where anche takes its place, either in the CP, Nominal Phrase (NP) or Verbal Phrase on the level of vP. Without having an own negated focalizing adverb neanche. Thus, in this talk, it can be explained why the order of elements like também and não is different in EP. Furthermore, we have to take in mind how different word orders of adverb and negation can influence the scope of both.

(3) a. (CRPC 2012, European Portuguese)
Eu também não sei o que se passa na Áustria.
I also not know what happens in the Austria
‘I also don’t know what is happening in Austria.’

b. (PAISÀ 2012, Italian)
Non mi hanno neanche dato i popcorn gratis […].
not me have not even given the popcorn for free
‘They have not even given me the popcorn for free.’

c. (Grammaticality test, Italian)
*Mi hanno anche non dato i popcorn gratis […].
me have also not given the popcorn for free

In this talk, I want to propose two different base generated positions for neanche (in the left periphery of vP) and também (in CP) to explain, a) why neanche needs negative concord with non (2b), i.e. we cannot just use anche non (3c) as in European Portuguese, and b) why the order of elements is different in Italian in comparison to European Portuguese, where we do not see negative concord between também and não (3a).
For answering the question about adjunction or not, further questions have to be considered: Could there be a specific order of adjuncts when a speaker uses more than one in a row? How could the focalizing semantics work with an adjunct?
To put it in a nutshell, even though Italian and European Portuguese are Romance languages, there are differences in the structures concerning adverbs and negation. Additionally, adjunction is a possible explanation for the use of também and anche. Nevertheless, there are still open questions for further research.

Cinque, Guglielmo. 1999. Adverbs and functional heads. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Franco, Irene / Olga Kellert / Guido Mensching / Cecilia Poletto. 2016. “A diachronic study of the (negative) additive anche in Italian”, Caplletra 61, 225-256.
Raposo, Eduardo Buzaglo Paiva/Bacelar do Nascimento, Maria Fernanda /Coelho da Mota, Maria Antónia/Segura, Luísa und Mendes, Amália (eds, 2013), Gramática do Português, 2. Lissabon: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
Rizzi, Luigi. 1982. Issues in Italian Syntax, Dordrecht: Foris.
Rullmann, Hotze 2003. „Additive Particles and Polarity”, Journal of Semantics 20: 329–401.

Lyding, Verena / Stemle, Egon / Borghetti, Claudia / Brunello, Marco / Castagnoli, Sara / Dell'Orletta, Felice / Dittmann, Henrik / Lenci, Alessandro / Pirrelli, Vito (2014): "The PAISÀ Corpus of Italian Web Texts" In: Bildhauer, Felix and Schäfer, Roland (eds.), Proceedings of the 9th Web as Corpus Workshop (WaC-9), Association for Computational Linguistics, Gothenburg, Sweden, April 2014. 36-43. [Last access 04.07.2020]
Centre of Linguistics of the University of Lisbon (CLUL) (1988-ongoing). „CRPC: Portugal only”. Reference Corpus of Contemporary Portuguese. (version 3.0 CQPWeb 2012) [Last access 04.07.2020].


Day: 2020-11-20
Start time: 18:45
Duration: 00:30
Room: Odille Morison
Track: Theoretical Linguistics
Language: en



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