LINGUIST List 14.2799

Thu Oct 16 2003

Diss: Typology/Translation: Sans�: 'Degrees...'

Editor for this issue: Takako Matsui <>


  1. sanso, Degrees of Event Elaboration

Message 1: Degrees of Event Elaboration

Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2003 07:48:01 +0000
From: sanso <>
Subject: Degrees of Event Elaboration

Institution: University of Pavia
Program: Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2001

Author: Andrea Sans� 

Dissertation Title: Degrees of Event Elaboration: Passive
Constructions in Italian and Spanish

Linguistic Field: Typology, Translation, Text/Corpus Linguistics,
Semantics, General Linguistics, Discourse Analysis 

Subject Language: Spanish (code: SPN), Polish (code: PQL)
Italian (code: ITN), German, Standard (code: GER), Dutch (code: DUT)

Dissertation Director 1: Anna Giacalone Ramat
Dissertation Director 2: Pierluigi Cuzzolin
Dissertation Director 3: Giacomo Ferrari
Dissertation Director 4: Silvia Luraghi

Dissertation Abstract: 

Research on Italian and Spanish passive constructions has been
normally conducted along the lines of formal linguistic theories. As a
result, the discourse patterns followed by these constructions have
generally escaped attention. This dissertation attempts to fill such a
gap. It provides a systematic account of the usage and distribution of
passive constructions in Italian and Spanish texts.

The four passive constructions examined in the present work (two
periphrastic passives and two middle-marker constructions) differ from
one another in both the prominence they assign to agent and patient
and the degree of specificity to which they represent the event
denoted by the verb. The detailed corpus analysis conducted in this
work will make these differences clear.

A secondary aim of this work is to show that the integration of
cognitive and typological insights pursued by the methodology of
semantic maps constitutes the basis for important generalizations
about the semantics of passive constructions across languages. A
chapter of the dissertation is therefore devoted to passive and
impersonal contructions in Dutch, German, and Polish. Data from these
three languages corroborate the semantic analysis proposed for Italian
and Spanish passive constructions.
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