Back to the issue of DEI in Italian

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1 Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena and G.Giusti 2 DEI does not have pronominal uses (3b) but this is also the case of other quantifiers (3c) Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena Université Paris VII 1 Data and issues G.Giusti Università Ca Foscari Venezia LSALAA Paris, 28 février 2013 Many languages leave the indefinite non-singular unmarked. Italian and French have developed a set of forms specialised for this task. In this talk, we use DEI as a cover term for the forms realising all gender and number combinations in Italian, i.e. del, dello, della, dei, degli, delle. French traditional grammars use the term partitive article for du, de la, des. We will not use this term, as the relevant determiners do not trigger the same interpretation as partitives. Traditional grammars and descriptive work analyse Italian DEI as the union of the preposition di and the definite article, but also view dei as a plural indefinite article, (Korzen, 1996). Formal analyses have mostly taken these two views as distinct alternatives. We aim at an analysis that can reconcile these two observations. Basics Some examples of dei combined with count nouns and mass nouns in subject position and in object position are provided in (1) from (Chierchia, 1998) and (2) respectively. (1) a. Delle bottiglie sono rotte (plural count) DEI bottles are broken b. Del vino si è rovesciato (mass) DEI wine got spilled c. * Del paese è a favore (singular count) DEI country is in favour (2) a. Ho visto delle bottiglie I saw DEI bottles b. Ha rovesciato del vino S/he spelt DEI wine c. * Ha percorso del paese S/e covered DEI country (3) a. Alcuni/molti/tutti/questi sono venuti some/many/all/these came b. *Dei/quei sono venuti DEI/those came c. *Ogni/qualche è venuto every/some came DEI nominals can have a referential non-specific reading (4), a referential specific reading (5) and a non-referential reading (6). (4) a. Dei ragazzi giocano in giardino. Nessuno li conosce. DEI boys are playing in the garden. Nobody knows them b. Ieri mi hanno consegnato tre casse di vino e delle bottiglie erano rotte. yesterday, they delivered three boxes of wine and DEI bottles were broken (5) a. Dei ragazzi mi hanno chiamato su skype, li conosci anche tu DEI boys called me on skype, you know them too b. Dei ragazzi non sono venuti, ma mi avevano avvisato DEI boys did not come, but they had told me in advance (6) a. Non ci sono dei difetti nel generatore, o almeno non mi pare there aren t DEI flaws in the generator or at least I do not know b. Sto cercando dei regali per mio figlio più piccolo I am looking for DEI presents for my youngest son Partitives Partitives headed by an indefinite determiner are necessarily interpreted as presuppositional, i.e. the domain is specific and the referent of the nominal is not. The nominal refers to a proper subset of the domain. (7) a. Alcune delle ragazze sono contente some of the girls are satisfied b. Molta dell acqua è tracimata a lot of the water overflowed c. La maggior parte del parlamento è a favore most of the parliament is in favour Literature There have been two major lines of analysis for Italian DEI in the recent literature. One line develops what looks like updated versions of what had been proposed for French by Milner (1978) 1, and derives DEI nominals from partitive forms such as (7), see the structures in (8) and (9) from Chierchia (1998), and in (10) from Zamparelli (2008). In this line of work, partitives are called FULL PARTITIVES, and DEI nominals are called BARE PARTITIVES, a terminological choice that underscores an assumed similarity between the two. 1 We cannot do justice to the rich production on French du/de la/des.

2 Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena and G.Giusti 3 Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena and G.Giusti 4 (8) [ alcuni [ e [di [i [ ragazzi ]]]]] (9) Chierchia (1998) DP D NP 1 PP N DP P [part] di D NP 2 i ragazzi (10) a. [ DP1 dei [ NumP dei [ RP [ NP ragazzi] [ R di [ DP2 i ragazzi]]]]] b. [ DP1 dei [ NumP dei [ PP [ NP ragazzi] [ P dei [ DP2 i ragazzi]]]]] Zamparelli (2008) An analysis that assigns the semantics of partitives to DEI nominals, predicts that: DEI nominals presuppose a non-empty domain and DEI nominals impose a proper part relation on it. The other line assumes that DEI nominals have the same structure of weak indefinites with a determiner that has certain particular semantic properties, cf. Storto (2003) and Le Bruyn (2007). (11) [dei [ ragazzi ]] Storto notes that the predictions made by Chierchia s analysis are not born out. In particular, proper partitivity is disprouved by data such as sentence (12), which can be used without ascribing contradictory beliefs to the relevant group of Martians. (12) Dei marziani che sono atterrati nel mio giardino mi hanno detto che loro sono gli ultimi rappresentanti della loro specie DEI martians who landed in my backyard told me that they are the last representatives of their species The non-empty domain prediction is disprouved by data such as (13), which shows that the existence presupposition that characterises partitives is not comparable to the presupposition of DEI nominals, if any. (13) a. # Mi piacerebbe trovare alcuni dei dodo, ma so che oramai sono estinti I would like to find some of the dodos, but I know they are extinct nowadays b. Mi piacerebbe trovare dei dodo, ma so che oramai sono estinti I would like to find some dodos, but I know that they are extinct nowadays Zamparelli rescues Chierchia s analysis by claiming that the article in DEI does not trigger reference to pluralities, but to kinds. We will see, however, that this is not the case. These two lines take DEI nominals as crucially different from bare nominals in Italian. This would make Italian very different from des nominals in French (Roy, 2001). General hypothesis There are four types of nominal expressions, of increasing syntactic complexity: bare nouns (DPs with a null determiner) (14a), DPs with an overt determiner (14b), QPs without a partitive (14c), QPs with a partitive PP (14d). (cf. Cardinaletti and Giusti (2006) for a detailed account of (14c-d)) (14) a. [ DP [ NP N]] bare nouns b. [ DP D [ NP N]] DPs with an overt determiner c. [ QP Q [ DP [ NP N]]] QPs without a partitive d. [ QP [ Q Q [ DP [ NP N]]] [ PP [ DP +def [ NP N]]]] QPs with a partitive PP The semantic correlate of this hypothesis is that the presence of a quantifier in a nominal warrants the possibility of performing all standard operations on the domain of denotation of such a nominal. Its absence restricts these possibilities. Specific hypotheses DEI nominals are of category (14b). This derives the fact that some operations cannot be performed in their domain, e.g. complements are not defined. This hypothesis has several correlates. DEI nominals have the same structure as referential expressions, anaphoric expressions, deictics. The differences among them is reduced to the different semantics of the determiners. DEI nominals are the realisation of a form of differential indefiniteness marking. + In subject position, DEI marks a nominal less definite than the quantified option, and is sort of an alternative form for bare nouns, which are not allowed. + In object position, it still marks a nominal less definite than the quantified option, and also a more definite nominal than the bare noun option. Outline: 2: A comparative view of Italian indefinite expressions in simple contexts 3: Scoping effects and other interactions 4: On the issue of non-singular number 5: Reference and partitivity 6: Syntactic considerations 2 A comparative overview of Italian indefinites in simple contexts 2.1 Italian Bare nouns 1. Italian Bare nouns cannot be used to refer to kinds (Longobardi, 1994). They have existential (instance-of) reading (15). Generics require an overt determiner (16). (15) a. Sono arrivate ragazze (14a) Girls arrived b. Maria alleva conigli Maria breeds rabbits

3 Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena and G.Giusti 5 Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena and G.Giusti 6 (16) a. I conigli si allevano facilmente rabbits breed easily b. Maria alleva i conigli M. breeds rabbits 2. The existential reading they support is non-specific. (17) #Sono arrivate ragazze. Si tratta di Luisa e Paola Girls arrived. They are L. and P. 3. Bare nouns are limited to lexically governed positions (direct object position or object of a preposition), see the contrast between (15) and (18), and the lack of contrast between (1) and (2). Subject of unaccusative verbs are fine in postverbal position (15), but are out in preverbal position (18). (18) a. * Ragazze sono arrivate girls arrived b. * Dinosauri sono estinti dinosaurs are extinct 4. Known rescuing strategies are clause initial focus/topic position and heaviness/modification. 2 Examples (19a,b) are from (Chierchia, 1998). (19) a. RAGAZZE sono arrivate, non ragazzi GIRLS arrived, not boys b. ragazze in minigonna sono arrivate girls in miniskirt arrived (20) a. * DINOSAURI sono estinti b. *Dinosauri con le ali si sono estinti prima di tutto 2.2 Options for preverbal subject position in alternative to bare nouns 1. Referential non-specific reading (21) a. Dei ragazzi giocano in giardino. Si tratta di Marco e Luisa. (14b) DEI boys are playing in the garden. I know they are/look, they are M. and L. b. Alcuni ragazzi giocano in giardino. So che si tratta di Marco e Luisa.(14c) some boys are playing in the garden. I know they are M. and L. c. Alcuni dei ragazzi giocano in giardino. So che si tratta di Marco e Luisa. (14d) some of the boys are playing in the garden. I know they are M. and L. 2. context incompatible with the assumption of an empty domain 2 These rescuing strategies do not rescue bare nouns as subjects of species predicates, pace (Chierchia, 1998) who gives examples (i) and (ii), which we find ungrammatical. (i) RAGAZZE sono rare, non ragazzi (ii) ragazze in minigonna sono rare (22) a. Ieri mi hanno consegnato tre casse di vino e delle bottiglie erano rotte. yesterday, they delivered three boxes of wine and DEI bottles were broken b. Ieri mi hanno consegnato tre casse di vino e alcune bottiglie erano rotte. yesterday, they delivered three boxes of wine and some bottles were broken c. Ieri mi hanno consegnato tre casse di vino e alcune delle bottiglie erano rotte. yesterday, they delivered three boxes of wine and some bottles were broken 3. sub-kind reference and kind predicates (23) a. I dinosauri sono estinti kind only reading dinosaurs are extinct b. Questi dinosauri sono estinti sub-kind only reading these dinosaurs are extinct (24) a. Dei dinosauri sono estinti DEI dinosaurs are extinct b. Alcuni dinosauri sono estinti some dinosaurs are extinct c. Alcuni dei dinosauri sono estinti some of the dinosaurs are extinct 4. modified nominals, instances of (sub-)kind interpretation Example (25) is from Zamparelli, but unexpectedly the relevant reading is not available in (26). (25) a. Dei #(veri) italiani mangiano la pasta DEI (real) Italians eat pasta b. #Alcuni (veri) italiani mangiano la pasta Some (real) Italians eat pasta c. #Alcuni dei (veri) italiani mangiano la pasta Some of the (real) Italians eat pasta d. I (veri) italiani mangiano la pasta (real) Italians eat pasta (26) a. #Degli italiani golosi mangiano il panettone DEI glutton Italians eat panettone cake b. # Alcuni italiani (golosi) mangiano il panettone Some glutton Italians eat panettone cake c. #Alcuni degli italiani (golosi) mangiano il panettone Some of the glutton Italians eat panettone cake d. Gli italiani (golosi) mangiano il panettone glutton Italians eat panettone cake Summing up DEI nominals are interpreted as referential non-specific indefinites.

4 Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena and G.Giusti 7 Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena and G.Giusti Comparing DEI nominals with the other types of indefinites in postverbal subject and object positions 1. existential sentences, referential non-specific reading (27) a. Ci sono ragazzi che giocano in giardino. * Si tratta di Marco e Luisa. boys are playing in the garden. They are M. and L. b. Ci sono dei ragazzi che giocano in giardino. Si tratta di Marco e Luisa. DEI boys are playing in the garden. They are M. and L. c. Ci sono alcuni ragazzi che giocano in giardino. Si tratta di Marco e Luisa. some boys are playing in the garden. They are M. and L. d. #Ci sono alcuni dei ragazzi che giocano in giardino. Si tratta di Marco e Luisa. some of the boys are playing in the garden. They are M. and L. existential sentences, context incompatible with the assumption of an empty domain (28) a. #Ieri mi hanno consegnato tre casse di vino e c erano bottiglie rotte. yesterday, they delivered three boxes of wine and there were broken bottles b. Ieri mi hanno consegnato tre casse di vino e c erano delle bottiglie rotte. yesterday, they delivered three boxes of wine and there were DEI broken bottles c. Ieri mi hanno consegnato tre casse di vino e c erano alcune bottiglie rotte. yesterday, they delivered three boxes of wine and there were some broken bottles d. * Ieri mi hanno consegnato tre casse di vino e c erano alcune delle bottiglie rotte. yesterday, they delivered three boxes of wine and there were some of the broken bottles 2. nominal containing a relational noun with a (non)-overt possessive (29) a. Ho chiamato amici (miei) su skype. * Li conosci anche tu I called friends [of mine] on skype. You know them too b. Ho chiamato degli amici (miei) su skype. Li conosci anche tu I called DEI friends [of mine] on skype. You know them too c. Ho chiamato alcuni amici (miei) su skype. Li conosci anche tu I called some friends [of mine] on skype. You know them too d. Ho chiamato alcuni degli amici *(miei) su skype. Li conosci anche tu I called some of the friends of mine on skype. You know them too 3. The instance-of kind reading (31) a. #Il giardiniere ha piantato rose ovunque the gardener planted roses everywhere b. #Il giardiniere ha piantato delle rose ovunque the gardener planted DEI rose everywhere c. #Il giardiniere ha piantato alcune rose ovunque the gardener planted some roses everywhere d. *Il giardiniere ha piantato alcune delle rose ovunque the gardener planted some of the roses everywhere Summing up DEI has referential non-specific reading DEI seems to accept a form of bridging, cf. (28b) that is ambiguous. It is compatible with information forcing a specific reading within the nominal expression (29b) Ad interim assessment for non-scoping cases DEI in preverbal subject position corresponds to the least specific option DEI in lexically governed position corresponds to the least specific option that does not rules out referentiality. DEI nominals are sensitive to contextual information, cf. the role of a relational noun in (29) and the required modifier in (25). 3 Scoping effects and other types of interactions 1. negation Bare nouns take only narrow scope over negation, DEI nominals can take either scope but narrow scope is dispreferred, and quantified nominals take wide scope. Italian, marks narrow scope with an N-word as a preference, being a negative concord language. (32) a. Non ho visto ragazzi * < ; < I did not see boys b. Non ho visto dei ragazzi < ; % < I did not see DEI boys c. Non ho visto alcuni ragazzi < ; * < I did not see some boys d. Non ho visto alcuni dei ragazzi < ; * < I did not see some of the boys (33) Non ho visto nessun ragazzo * < ; < I did not see any boys (30) a. Il giardiniere ha piantato questa rosa ovunque the gardener planted this rose everywhere b. *Il giardiniere ha piantato la rosa ovunque the gardener planted the rose everywhere

5 Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena and G.Giusti 9 Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena and G.Giusti defining the restricted complement (34) a. Alcuni dei ragazzi sono venuti, (gli) altri no/ il resto no 3 some of the boys came, (the) others (= other boys) didn t b. Alcuni ragazzi sono venuti, (?gli) altri no/?il resto no some boys came, (the) others didn t c. Dei ragazzi sono venuti, (*gli) altri no/ *il resto no DEI boys came, (the) others didn t 3. Opaque contexts Sentences (35a) and (35b) are near synonym, but there is a weaker expectation for a non-empty domain in (35a) than in (35b). (35) a. Sto cercando errori nel file de dicto/*de re I am looking for errors in the file b. Sto cercando degli errori nel file de dicto/de re I am looking for DEI errors in the file c. Sto cercando alcuni errori nel file *de dicto/de re I am looking for some errors in the file d. Sto cercando alcuni degli errori nel file *de dicto/de re I am looking for some of the errors in the file 4. Scoping possibilities widest scope (36) Se muoiono dei miei parenti, erediterò una casa if DEI relatives of mine die, I will inherit a house intermediate scope (37) La maggior parte dei revisori ha esaminato tutti i preventivi proposti da delle ditte che sembravano loro sospette most of the auditors examined all the budgets proposed by the firms that looked suspicious to them narrow scope, see (6b) and (38) (38) Ogni genitore sta cercando dei regali Every parent is looking for presents Ad interim assessment Comparatively: i Differently from bare nouns, DEI nominals can have a referential reading, are compatible with a context that rules out the possibility of an empty domain, and preserve the telicity of telic predicates. But, like bare nouns, they can be under the scope of negation and have a de dicto reading. ii Parallel to quantifiers, DEI nominals have a de re reading, are compatible with a context that rules out the possibility of an empty domain, and they preserve the telicity of telic predicates. But, unlike quantifiers, they trigger a subkind interpretation in subject position of 3 The relevant reading takes altro/resto as referring to boys, not to non-boys. generic sentences, are incompatible with a presupposed domain and allow narrow scope. iii Finally, DEI nominals are crucially different from full partitives in that they can occur in postverbal subject position of existential sentences and allow the interpretation of a null possessive in relational nouns. In short, DEI nominals have in common with partitives only what they both share with quantificational phrases. Specifically: iv In simple contexts, DEI nominals receive referential non-specific interpretation. v They are compatible with information forcing specificity in the same clause. 4 Non-singularity of dei DEI nominals refer to non-singularities, cf (1a), (2a), (4) and (5). There are contexts where the ban on a singular referent is lifted, namely, in questions, under negation and in the antecedent of conditionals. All these contexts do not carry existential import. (39) Hai visto dei ragazzi? did you see DEI boys? (40) Non ho trovato degli errori I did not find DEI mistake (41) Se invitiamo dei filosofi, Max si offenderà. if we invite DEI philosophers, M. will be offended 1. This issue also arises with other instances of plurals in the same contexts, e.g. bare plurals and quantified nominals such as no boys. 2. In these contexts, enforcing the ban on a singular referent would lead to a weaker interpretation. 3. Examples containing DEI nominals under negation are marginal for some speakers, as opposed to Bare plurals (40). The use of N-words is preferred in this contest in Italian, which is a negative concord language, cf (33). (33) Non ho visto nessun ragazzo. I saw no boy 4. Plurality can be more easily challenged in questions with dei nominals than in questions with bare plurals. The mini-discourse with dei in (42a) is definitely better than the mini-discourse with a bare plural in (42b). (42) a. A: Hai visto dei ragazzi? Have you seen DEI boys? B: No, uno. / Sì, uno. No, just one. / Yes, just one. b. A: Hai visto ragazzi? Have you seen boys? B: #No, uno. / Sì, uno. No, just one. / Yes, just one. In the intermediate reading of (43), there is a plurality of politicians whose acting causes some problems. Speakers hesitate on whether there is a plurality of politicians for each people who is convinced to suffer mistreatment, or a plurality of individual politicians each of whom is mean toward one people.

6 Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena and G.Giusti 11 Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena and G.Giusti 12 (43) Tutti erano convinti che la maggior parte dei loro problemi fosse causata da dei politici che li ostacolavano. They were all convinced that most of their problems were due to some politicians who were opposing them The plurality in (43) might be due to co-variation. This explanation does not apply to (1a). 5 Reference and partitivity Bare plurals introduce a neutral discourse referent, DEI nominals introduce referents that can be picked up, cf. (21). Indefinites can but need not be D-linked, partitives must be so. DEI nominals and bare nominals cannot be D-linked. non-unique reference: sloppy identity in elliptical contexts is possible for weak definites, indefinites and DEI nominals. No strict identity in (44c). (44) a. Lola went to the hospital and Alice did too b. Lola saw a boy and Max did too c. Luisa ha visto dei ragazzi, e così anche Daniele (Strict) coreferential reading in (45a) and (45b), but (sloppy) non-coreferential reading in (45c). (45) a. Luisa ha visto dei ragazzi, e anche Daniele li ha visti L. saw DEI boys, and D. saw them too b. Luisa ha visto dei ragazzi, e anche Daniele, quei ragazzi, li ha visti L. saw DEI boys, and those boys D. saw them too c. Luisa ha visto dei ragazzi, e anche Daniele, dei ragazzi, li ha visti L. saw DEI boys, and DEI boys D. saw some too ne in (46a) stands for ragazzi, as shown by the paraphrase in (46b). (46) a. Luisa ha visto dei ragazzi, e anche Daniele ne ha visti b. Luisa ha visto dei ragazzi, e anche Daniele, di ragazzi, ne ha visti The partitive reading is represented by a partition imposed on an entity/set/sum and the selection of one of its cells. This reading cannot be computed by looking only at the intersection of the restrictor with the scope. The existential reading of dei nominals is computed by selecting a referent viewed as a (not necessarily proper) part of an entity/set/sum. This second case does not require access to the full domain, but is computed by looking only at the intersection between restrictor and scope, cf. also (Bosveld-de Smet, 1998). The partitive effect is induced by contrast. Sentence (47a) implies that there are other boys that did not come, whereas (47b) behaves like (47c). (47) a. Alcuni dei ragazzi sono venuti some of the boys came b. Alcuni ragazzi sono venuti some boys came c. Dei ragazzi sono venuti DEI boys came Sentence (47b) can have a partitive reading when the context introduces a partition. This can be seen also by the possibility of contrasting with altri, as seen in (34c). The difference among them is that alcuni is also able to induce a partitive reading autonomously, as witnessed by the possibility of contrasting with gli altri/il resto, cf. (34b). (34) a. Alcuni dei ragazzi sono venuti, (gli) altri no/ il resto no some of the boys came, (the) others (= other boys) didn t b. Alcuni ragazzi sono venuti, (?gli) altri no/?il resto no some boys came, (the) others didn t c. Dei ragazzi sono venuti, (*gli) altri no/ *il resto no DEI boys came, (the) others didn t A partitive effect can result also from the presence of a subsective modifier (48). (48) a. dei ragazzi simpatici sono arrivati, altri no DEI nice boys arrived, others didn t b. alcuni ragazzi simpatici sono arrivati, altri no some nice boys arrived, others didn t Summing up DEI is an article and is not (no longer?) used to express proper partitive meaning. Note that a similar meaning evolution has been reported for partitive case in Finnish. 6 Syntactic considerations Recall the four types of nominal structures we assume: (49) a. Ho visto [ DP [ NP ragazzi]] bare nouns b. Ho visto [ DP quei/dei [ NP ragazzi]] DPs with an overt determiner c. Ho visto [ QP alcuni [ DP [ NP ragazzi]]] QPs without a partitive d. Ho visto [ QP [ Q alcuni [ DP [ NP N]]] [ PP dei ragazzi]] Full partitives Let us go back to our first proposal, namely that DEI nominals have the same structure of nominals with an overt determiner in DP and are different from quantified nominals with and without a PP. This can be captured by Cardinaletti and Giusti s (2006) proposal according to which the structure of quantified phrases is complex, as shown in (50a-b) and by a more recent hypothesis (Cardinaletti and Giusti 2012) on the composite nature of the determiner DEI (50c). (50) a. [ QP [ Q alcuni [ DP ragazzi]]] b. [ QP [ Q alcuni [ DP ]] [ PP de [ DP i ragazzi]]] c. [ DP de- [ D i [ NP ragazzi]]]

7 Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena and G.Giusti 13 Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena and G.Giusti 14 According to Cardinaletti and Giusti (2012) dei in PP in (50b) is crucially different from our DEI in (50c), which is made of an overt uninflected determiner de- in SpecDP to which an overt D, realizing the gender and number features (no definiteness) of the nominal, is attached. Not only does the alleged article attach to another determiner (que) but also to an adjective (be). (51) art que.gend+number be.gend+num a. il bambino quel bambino bel bambino the boy that boy nice boy i bambini quei bambini bei bambini the boys those boys nice boys b. l amico quell amico bell amico the friend that friend nice friend gli amici quegli amici begli amici the friends those friends nice friends etc. (51) supports the hypothesis that in Italian some apparent instance of the definite article does not trigger definiteness interpretation. In fact, it cooccurs with a determiner definite or indefinite as in (52) differently from the true definite article which never does: questo (*il) ragazzo, questi (*i) ragazzi, etc. (52) il bel bambino quel bel bambino un bel bambino the nice boy that nice boy a nice boy i bei bambini quei bei bambini dei bei bambini etc. Furthermore, Cardinaletti and Giusti (2012) report that in an Eastern Central Italian dialect, the alleged article on que, de and be can be dropped, differently from the true article. In Anconetano the apparent article on DEI can be deleted on a par with the apparent article on que and be (53a-b). This is evidence that DEI is parallel to quei and bei and is different from the PP dei in (53c) which is in turn parallel to other prepositions merged with an article as is the case of (53d). (53) a. Ho visto que(i) fioli (Anconetano) I saw those boys b. Ho visto de(i) fioli I saw DEI boys c. Parla de*(i) fioli Talk of-the boys d. Dallo a*(i) fioli Give-it to-the boys Finally, DEI is also different from the homophonous preposition in the complement of a noun, and in the complement of a quantifier, as shown in (54). (54) a. la madre de*(i) fioli the mother of-the boys b. tanti de*(i) fioli many of-the boys The contrast between (53b) and (54b) suggests that the de in DEI is not the preposition. 7 Concluding remarks We have started to explore the hypothesis that DEI is the realisation of a form of differential indefiniteness marking. Reference: In subject position, DEI is sort of an alternative form for bare nouns, which are not allowed. It therefore marks a nominal less definite than the quantified option. In object position, where bare nouns are allowed, it still marks a nominal less definite than the quantified option, but is more definite than the bare noun option. The referent of DEI nominals cannot be D-linked, and this crucially differenciates them from partitives. DEI nominals can take wide scope and introduce a discourse referent, and this crucially differenciates them from bare nouns and weak-only determiners. Furthermore, the kind interpretation proposed by Zamparelli does not seem viable. Non-singularity: In referential positions, dei+n plural refers to non-singular entities, which strengthen the non-specific reference. In opaque positions, under negation and in questions, the ban against singular reference is waived, as it would lead to a weakened interpretation. We have concluded briefly showing that a syntactic account of these properties is possible, differenciating DEI from bare nouns, quantified phrases and from (partitive) PPs. The homophony with the preposition is not as ex machina as Zamparelli suggests, given that it is reasonable to suppose that diachronically derives from the partitive PP (cf. Carlier, 2007). References Bosveld-de Smet, L. (1998). On Mass and Plural quantification. Ph. D. thesis, University of Groningen. Cardinaletti, A. and G. Giusti (2006). The syntax of quantified phrases and quantitative clitics. In M. Everaert and H. van Riemsdijk (Eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Syntax, Volume V, pp Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. Cardinaletti, A. and G. Giusti (2011). L opzionalità alle interfacce sintassi - morfologia - fonologia. In Atti del XLIII Congresso della Società di Linguistica Italiana, pp Cardinaletti, A. and G. Giusti (2012). Il determinante indefinito: analisi sintattica e variazione diatopica. In Proceedings of SLI. Carlier, A. (2007). From preposition to article. The grammaticalization of the French partitive. Studies in Language 31, 1 49.

8 Back to the issue of DEI in Italian L.M.Tovena and G.Giusti 15 Chierchia, G. (1998). Partitives, reference to kinds and semantic variation. In Proceedings of Semantics And Linguistic Theory SALT VII, pp Korzen, I. (1996). L articolo italiano fra concetto ed entità Considerazioni preliminari, il sintagma nominale senza determinante I sintagmi nominali con articolo, conclusioni. Copenhaguen: Museum Tusculanum Press. Le Bruyn, B. (2007). The partitive article dei in Italian. In L. Bettelou and M. v. Koppen (Eds.), Linguistics in the Netherlands 2007, Volume 24, pp Longobardi, G. (1994). Reference and proper names: A theory of N movement in syntax and logical form. Linguistic Inquiry 25(4), Milner, J.-C. (1978). De la syntaxe à l interprétation. Paris: Seuil. Roy, I. (2001). Weak des/du-nps in French and judgment forms. MA research paper University of Southern California. Storto, G. (2003). On the status of the partitive determiner in Italian. In J. Quer, J. Schroten, M. Scorretti, P. Sleeman, and E. Verheugd (Eds.), Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 2001, pp Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Zamparelli, R. (2008). Dei ex machina: a note on plural/mass indefinite determiners. Studia Linguistica 62,

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