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Abruzzese syntax


The aim of this research is the documentation and analysis of Eastern Abruzzese (EA henceforth), a southern Italian dialect spoken in Abruzzo, a central Italian region. EA is highly endangered, mainly because of the strong influence that Standard Italian h as on it, and to the low prestige that sociolinguistic factors attribute to it. The dialectological studies that have interested EA so far are very few and merely philological, and no systematic documentation of the grammatical system of EA exists. As a na tive speaker of EA, I see the need to record original EA before it dies out completely. This can only be done before the old generation dies, i.e. in the next few years. EA presents some morpho-syntactic features that make it peculiar with respect to the other Romance languages: auxiliary selection based on person, past participle agreement with the subject of the sentence, peculiar use of 'yet' adverbials. Hence, EA syntax needs to be explored in depth since it constitutes a clear counterexample for many o f the traditionally assumed generalizations about Romance languages. This project has the aim of recording and documenting EA, and creating a large database of both written and oral data on EA. This would be done through using the Cambridge University Library and by interviewing native speakers in loco. A detailed description of EA would follow, to be used both by dialectologists and by Romance typologists. Last, an analysis of the peculiar phenomena of EA is in order, to evaluate the traditional assumption s on Romance languages and arrive at a more powerful theory of grammar.

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