This study addresses the evolution of the Sicilian discourse marker mentri to explore the concept of cyclicity in semantic–pragmatic change. Stemming from Latin dŭm ĭntĕrim (‘while, in the meantime’), the temporal conjunction develops – like its Romance cognates – an adversative function meaning ‘whereas’, which further evolves from an oppositional to a counter-expectational contrast value meaning ‘though’. The latter serves as a bridging context for the emergence of discourse-pragmatic uses and is examined below. Mentri evolves as discourse marker: formally, it gains greater syntactic and positional independence, and it increases in scope; functionally, it displays both textual and interpersonal values. In its overall path, mentri shows a cyclical change in respect to the adversative function: oppositional contrast emerges out of the temporal meaning, it then develops into counter-expectation, and it eventually fades into the discourse-pragmatic values. The rise of mentri as a discourse marker is thus interpreted as a case of cyclicity from a semasiological perspective.

Semasiological cyclicity in the evolution of discourse markers: A case from Sicilian

Scivoletto G.
Primo
2020

Abstract

This study addresses the evolution of the Sicilian discourse marker mentri to explore the concept of cyclicity in semantic–pragmatic change. Stemming from Latin dŭm ĭntĕrim (‘while, in the meantime’), the temporal conjunction develops – like its Romance cognates – an adversative function meaning ‘whereas’, which further evolves from an oppositional to a counter-expectational contrast value meaning ‘though’. The latter serves as a bridging context for the emergence of discourse-pragmatic uses and is examined below. Mentri evolves as discourse marker: formally, it gains greater syntactic and positional independence, and it increases in scope; functionally, it displays both textual and interpersonal values. In its overall path, mentri shows a cyclical change in respect to the adversative function: oppositional contrast emerges out of the temporal meaning, it then develops into counter-expectation, and it eventually fades into the discourse-pragmatic values. The rise of mentri as a discourse marker is thus interpreted as a case of cyclicity from a semasiological perspective.
cyclicity, discourse markers, semasiology, Sicilian
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/536667
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