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Title: The syntax and prosody of interrogatives : evidence from varieties spoken in northern Italy
Author: Hack, Franziska Maria
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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The vast majority of work on question formation examines interrogatives from the perspective of just one single component of grammar, usually the syntax or the prosody. The present dissertation offers a comprehensive account of question formation addressing both the syntax and the prosody of interrogatives and the interaction between these two components of grammar in signalling the question meaning of an utterance. The present work examines question formation on the basis of four genealogically related and geographically closely located Romance varieties spoken in northern Italy: Gherdëina, Badiot, Fascian and Nònes. Given that these varieties differ only with respect to certain microparametric values whereas others remain constant, they constitute an ideal research area to study the interaction between the syntax and the prosody in question formation. The syntactic and prosodic analyses proposed are based on new empirical data. The syntactic analysis is couched within the cartographic approach and the prosodic analysis is based on Autosegmental-Metrical Phonology. This dissertation is motivated by five main research goals:
  1. to provide a detailed description of the syntactic variation found in interrogatives in the four varieties Gherdëina, Badiot, Fascian and Nònes based on data collected by the author;
  2. to propose a unified syntactic analysis of the interrogatives;
  3. to offer a prosodic analysis of statements and questions providing new data from varieties not studied up to now in the literature;
  4. to establish the relation between the syntax and the prosody in question formation;
  5. to determine how the syntax and the prosody interact in providing clues to interrogative force for the listener as well as the speaker.
The main conclusions are as follows: The syntactic structure and the intonational tune are autonomous in question formation. Three aspects matter for interrogative clause typing: (i) syntactic marking, (ii) prosodic marking and (iii) tune-text-alignment.
Supervisor: Lahiri, Aditi; Hoge, Kerstin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Italic languages ; Italian ; Rhaeto-Romanic languages ; Linguistics ; Romance languages ; interrogatives ; interrogation ; syntax ; prosody ; Dolomitic Ladin