Alla finfine sono daccordo’: A Corpus-Based Case Study on Italian Adverbial Phrases Grammaticalization

  • Lucia BussoEmail author
  • Margherita Castelli
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11755)


We present results of a corpus-based synchronic study on the grammaticalization of Italian adverbial phrases. In particular, we claim that spelling irregularities of adverbial constructions provide evidence of ongoing grammaticalization processes. Adverbial phrases are hence already decategorized analytic constructions that are undergoing paradigmaticization and subsequently lexicalization. We selected 40 adverbial phrases of different length (2–5 constituents) at different stages of the process: from completely non-alternating structures to phrases with two (or more) accepted standard spellings. By means of a corpus-based analysis we considered several properties of those constructions (i.e. frequency) and tested their significance with mixed effect modelling analysis. Specifically, we model the presence of spelling irregularities, its measure (i.e. partial or total univerbation), and frequency of irregular forms. Results of such a corpus-based statistical analysis, albeit preliminary, yield several interesting considerations on synchronic factors that facilitate or hinder processes of grammaticalization, especially the role of frequency and number of construction constituents. Findings support current usage-based literature on grammaticalization as constructionalization.


Grammaticalization Italian Adverbs Usage-based linguistics 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università di PisaPisaItaly
  2. 2.Università degli Studi di PerugiaPerugiaItaly

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