Conditional connection explored: the case of Sicilian cusà

Authors

MOCCIARO Egle BRUCALE Luisa LO BAIDO Maria Cristina

Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source LINGUISTICS VANGUARD
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2021-0033
Keywords Sicilian grammar; conditionals; connectives; discourse markers; epistemicity; modal adverbs
Attached files
Description Stemming from a wh-question, the Sicilian marker cusa (cu sa ‘who knows’) expresses several epistemic meanings, which can also reach the realm of conditionality. The paper explores the discourse profile of cusa as it emerges from the analysis of diachronic data (from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) and present-day informal Sicilian, namely spoken Sicilian and present-day informal Sicilian as written by speakers on the web. These data suggest a possible path of development leading from the wh-question to new functions. We propose that the origin of this development can be explained in the light of the strategy of the “impossible question”, while the diverse functions of cusa emerged through concomitant processes of desemantization, reanalysis, and subjectification.
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