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Self and Other in Dialogue

Romance Studies on Discourse and Interaction

Edited By Johan Gille and Coco Norén

This volume contains a collection of papers which deal with Romance linguistics from the perspective of discourse and interaction. Some contributions cover areas such as spoken corpora, speech and linguistic description, and phonetic aspects of speech. Others focus on multimodality, pragmatics, and conversation and discourse, and there are also contributions which deal with speech and sociolinguistics, and speech in multilingualism/bilingualism. This volume is multilingual, containing as it does contributions written in English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

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Italian Sí / No in Replies Between Polarity and Agreement: A First Inquiry on Corpus Data (Cecilia Andorno / Fabiana Rosi)


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Cecilia Andorno, Fabiana Rosi;

Italian Sí / No in Replies Between Polarity and Agreement: A First Inquiry on Corpus Data


When referring to the distinction between polarity and agreement particles (cf. Moravsik, 1971; Pope, 1973), Italian sí / no can be described as polarity particles (cf. Bernini, 1995), as is the case for corresponding particles in other Romance languages. Indeed, speakers of Romance languages use them in similar ways in replies to positive utterances, where the positive particle also encodes agreement, and the negative particle also encodes disagreement. Instead, Romance languages cope in different ways with the conflicting case of replies to negative utterances (e.g. “Didn’t you read this book?”), where replies would encode either disagreement and assertion of a positive content (“That’s not true, I read it”) or agreement and assertion of a negative content (“You’re right, I didn’t”). Replies to negative utterances are therefore a crucial context for a deeper understanding of such particles (cf. Bernini, 1990 and 1995 for similar suggestions). Contrary to other Romance languages, such as French, Romanian or Portuguese, not much attention has been paid so far to this issue in Italian. The current study investigates the use of sí/no in replies to negative utterances, in two sets of elicited data: interviews and Map Tasks. The analysis has compared the use of particles in confirming and reversing replies, as well as in replies to assertions and...

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