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Aspectual Constraints on the (Anti)Causative Alternation in Old Italian


  • Michela Cennamo

Department of Modern Philology

University of Naples Federico II

Via Porta di Massa 1 Naples 80133



This paper discusses the strategies used for the anticausative alternation and the constraints on their distribution in two early Italian vernaculars, Old Florentine and Old Neapolitan, focusing on the emergence of aspectual notions such as telicity in determining variability in the occurrence of the reflexive morpheme si/se, the main/only strategy for anticausatives with some inherently telic and punctual verbs, depending on the vernacular. It is also shown that in the early varieties the reflexive in the anticausative alternation mainly signals the suppression of the Actor, only gradually coming to mark the presence of a terminal point in the meaning of the verb/predicate.