Schemas and Discontinuity in Italian: The View from Construction Morphology

  • Francesca Masini
  • Claudio Iacobini
Part of the Studies in Morphology book series (SUMO, volume 4)


In this paper we use the tools of Construction Morphology to explore Italian morphological and lexical constructions characterized by some kind of structural discontinuity. Our goal is to show how a constructionist view of language can account for non-contiguous structures in the lexicon. In particular, the paper deals with four (well-known and lesser-known) case-studies: (i) particle verbs and discontinuous idioms; (ii) bracketing paradoxes, where the suffix splits the phrase in two; (iii) parasynthetic verbs, where discontinuity is represented by the simultaneous addition of prefixation and conversion to a noun or adjective to create a verb; and, finally, (iv) discontinuous reduplication with numerals, a (so far undescribed) construction where a numeral is reduplicated “around” the head noun. In order to account for these different types of discontinuities, we use a variety of theoretical tools and notions developed within Construction Morphology and Construction Grammar.


Bracketing paradoxes Discontinuity Discontinuous idioms Numerals Parasynthesis Particle shift Particle verbs Reduplication 



We are very grateful to Geert Booij, Franz Rainer and Miriam Voghera for useful comments and suggestions.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Lingue, Letterature e Culture ModerneUniversità di BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Studi UmanisticiUniversità di SalernoSalernoItaly

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