This paper focuses on the different functions of the Italian adverb assolutamente ‘absolutely’, investigating its uses as a part of minor clauses. Assolutamente can be used as an isolated form, as well as with affirmative particles (e.g. sì ‘yes’ and certo ‘of course’) and negative particles (e.g. no). According to previous studies and dictionaries, assolutamente can be perceived as ambiguous, since it can be used both in positive and negative replies, and it can mark both agreement and disagreement. In order to verify the actual ambiguity of assolutamente, we will analyse data of spoken Italian, based on two corpora (LIP and KIParla), collected in various Italian cities in a thirty-year span. The analysis will also allow us to find out possible diachronic changes in the functions of assolutamente. Finally, we will discuss the discursive functions of these expressions, showing that assolutamente without polarity markers is not an ambiguous expression; rather, it is strongly oriented towards consensus and agreement with the interlocutor.

Assolutamente: sì o no?

Fiorentini, Ilaria
2020

Abstract

This paper focuses on the different functions of the Italian adverb assolutamente ‘absolutely’, investigating its uses as a part of minor clauses. Assolutamente can be used as an isolated form, as well as with affirmative particles (e.g. sì ‘yes’ and certo ‘of course’) and negative particles (e.g. no). According to previous studies and dictionaries, assolutamente can be perceived as ambiguous, since it can be used both in positive and negative replies, and it can mark both agreement and disagreement. In order to verify the actual ambiguity of assolutamente, we will analyse data of spoken Italian, based on two corpora (LIP and KIParla), collected in various Italian cities in a thirty-year span. The analysis will also allow us to find out possible diachronic changes in the functions of assolutamente. Finally, we will discuss the discursive functions of these expressions, showing that assolutamente without polarity markers is not an ambiguous expression; rather, it is strongly oriented towards consensus and agreement with the interlocutor.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/1375374
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