Research Project: DiFuPaRo

Full Title: "Distribution and Function of 'Partitive Articles' in Romance (DiFuPaRo): a microvariation analysis"

 

1. Description

The project

  • Elaboration of the project:

Co-funded by the URPP Language and Space.

Input from the international workshop Partitivity and Language Contact: https://www.rose.uzh.ch/de/seminar/wersindwir/mitarbeitende/stark/partitivity3.html, co-funded by the URPP Language and Space.

  • Funding: SNSF /DFG research project (SNSF ID: 100012L_172751 and DFG ID: PO1642/8-1).
  • Project leaders: Elisabeth Stark (University of Zurich) in collaboration with Cecilia Poletto (Frankfurt am Main).

  • Dates: 2018-2021. Subproject A: Extension obtained from the SNSF until 2022. Subproject B: ended on 31 March 2021.

Background The project investigates the way similar languages all belonging to the Romance family (i.e. languages derived from Latin) can display variable properties. The linguistic research of the last fifty years has proved that not all logical possibilities are always realized across languages, but the existence of some grammatical properties implies the existence of others in the same language so that linguistic properties can group together in clusters. This is true if we compare languages that are genetically unrelated, like for instance French and Chinese, but even more so across languages that are closely related, like French and Italian. Our investigations will not only target standard Italian and French, but also their vernacular varieties spoken in the geographic area comprising France, Northern Italy and part of Switzerland; they will also include minority Romance languages without a standard like Franco-provençal and Ladin. Our project intends to make use of the data already contained in data bases to compare the morphosyntactic properties and track down how characters of the linguistic system cluster together.

In order to do this, we have selected a typical grammatical property that singles out exactly these languages with respect to Spanish, Portuguese etc. in the bigger domain of Romance. This property concerns the existence of so called “partitive articles”, i.e. forms like du/del, ‘of the’, which can as to their etymology be decomposed into the preposition de/di followed by the definite article, to mark an indefinite element. The reason why we selected precisely this phenomenon is that it is actually rather bizarre that a form containing historically a definite article is used to mark an indefinite nominal expression. Furthermore, partitive articles are typologically highly marked, i.e. rather rare in the languages of the world. However, they are yet quite neglected elements in the research literature and there is up to now no systematic study (besides some work concentrating only either on Standard French or on standard Italian), which relates these elements to the respective Romance systems of nominal determination.

Objectives The aim of the project is to (i) compare the morphosyntactic properties of these languages and track down how characters of the linguistic system cluster together, and (ii) determine how and why partitive articles have evolved and spread through a precise geographical domain (France-Northern Italy-part of Switzerland), but not across all Romance. To do so, we will make use of already existing data bases (OFROM: colloquial Swiss French; ALAVAL: Francoprovençal; ASIt: Northern Italian) and gather data of our own, adopting well-established techniques of field work. The pool of data obtained will enable us to find out how variation can be modelled, in particular how morpho-syntactic means encode semantic properties, and the distribution and function of partitive articles in all vernacular varieties under scrutiny.

Context By studying the evolution and the distribution of this phenomenon across languages, we aim at learning more about the way in which the internal mechanisms of languages operate, in particular how morpho-syntactic means encode semantic properties and how much they can vary.  Besides the gain in linguistic description and analysis, the overall importance of this project lies also in unravelling and documenting unknown features of partially endangered Romance varieties used in informal contexts only, which are highly relevant to understand issues of language contact in the explanation of the distribution of grammatical features in space (Bickel 2007).

2. Subprojects

Subproject A: Gallo-Romance

  • Leader: Elisabeth Stark (University of Zurich)
  • Languages: French and Francoprovençal
  • Corpora: OFROM (Corpus Oral de français en Suisse romande - Oral Corpus of French in the French speaking area of Switzerland) and ALAVAL (Atlas linguistique audiovisuel du francoprovençal valaisan - Audiovisual linguistic atlas of Francoprovençal in Wallis (Switzerland))

Subproject B: Italo-Romance

  • Leader: Cecilia Poletto (Frankfurt am Main)
  • Languages: Italian and Northern Italian Dialects (NIDs)
  • Corpus: ASIt (Atlante sintattico d'Italia - Syntactic Atlas of Italy)

3. Team

Subproject A: Gallo-Romance

  • Elisabeth Stark (University of Zurich): project leader
  • Tabea Ihsane (University of Geneva and University of Zurich): scientific collaborator/coordinator
  • Tania Paciaroni: scientific collaborator (April 2021-March 2022)
  • Jan Davatz (University of Zurich): doctoral student (until January 2021)
  • Johannes Graën (UZH), Jordan Irrera (Unine), Jonathan Schaber (UZH), Olivier-Andreas Winistörfer (UZH): (former) student assistants

Subproject B: Italo-Romance

External partners

4. Output

4.1 Conference presentations

2021. Elisabeth Stark. "Distribution and function of ‘indefinite (non-definite) definite’ articles in Francoprovençal." NEREUS X International Workshop, University of Freiburg, Germany. 22 October.

2021. Tabea Ihsane. "The L2 acquisition of the French pronoun en by L1 speakers of German." From syntactic structures to society-driven language change. Workshop on the occasion of Thom Westveer’s PhD defence, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 6 October.

2021. David Paul Gerards (University of Leipzig) & Tabea Ihsane (University of Zurich). "Investigating Indefinite Definites: Empirical Approaches." IDARoE – Indefinite definite articles in Romance and English, online. 16 July.

2021. Tabea Ihsane. Invited speaker. "The role of L1 in the L2 acquisition of the French pronoun en by L1 speakers of German and L1 speakers of Dutch." Online AICED 22, University of Bucharest, Romania. 3 June.

2021. Francesco Pinzin & Cecilia Poletto. "Partitive Articles vs. Bare Nouns in Northern Italy, a morphological parameter." PARTE online conference cycle. 30 April.

2020. Jan Davatz & Elisabeth Stark. "Definite articles vs. partitive articles: Distribution and function of indefinite definite articles in Francoprovençal." Workshop Variation in the Expression of Partitivity and Partitive Expressions. 14th International Conference of General Linguistics (CILG2020). University of Sevilla, Spain. Postponed to June 2021. Cancelled.

2020. Tabea Ihsane. "Partitive articles in preverbal subjects: contrasting French and Aosta Valley Francoprovençal." Workshop Variation in the Expression of Partitivity and Partitive Expressions. 14th International Conference of General Linguistics (CILG2020). University of Sevilla, Spain. Postponed to June 2021. Cancelled.

2020. Tabea Ihsane & Jan Davatz. "Preverbal subjects with a partitive article in French and their Francoprovençal counterparts." Symposium Subjects in Romance. University of Stockholm (Sweden). Cancelled.

2020. Francesco Pinzin & Cecilia Poletto. "Partitive Articles vs. Bare Nouns in Northern Italy, a morphological parameter.” Going Romance 34. 25 November.

2020. Francesco Pinzin & Cecilia Poletto. "Indefinite objects and number marking on the noun, the case from Northern Italian Dialects." Nanolab, Masaryk University of Brno, online, 5 June.

2020. Jan Davatz & Tabea Ihsane. "Francoprovençal at the Crossroads." Project Presentations URPP Language and Space, Language and Space in Switzerland. 5 March.

2019. Jan Davatz. “Francoprovençal (B): Galloromance varieties without mass vs. plural distinction?” Poster at the workshop NaP2019: Number and plurality: cross-linguistic variation in the nominal domain. University of Göttigen (Germany). 11 December.

2019. Jan Davatz & Elisabeth Stark. "Unexpected partitives in Francoprovençal." Workshop Around Partitive Articles (Workshop of the DiFuPaRo Project), University Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 5 November.

2019. Francesco Pinzin & Cecilia Poletto. "The distribution of Partitives Articles and related phenomena in Northern Italy." Workshop Around Partitive Articles (Workshop of the DiFuPaRo Project), University Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 5 November.

2019. Tabea Ihsane. "The status of preverbal subjects in French and Francoprovençal." Workshop Around Partitive Articles (Workshop of the DiFuPaRo Project), University Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 5 November.

2019. Tabea Ihsane. Invited speaker. "Arguments with a so-called 'partitive article': The subject-object asymmetry in the light of Francoprovençal data." Workshop The syntax and semantics of internal arguments, University of Bucharest, Romania. 24 October.

2019. Jan Davatz & Elisabeth Stark. "Rumänisch niște zwischen nicht-spezifischen und spezifischen Lesearten." Romanistentag XXXVI, University of Kassel, Germany. 30 September.

2019. Jan Davatz, Tabea Ihsane, Francesco Pinzin, Cecilia Poletto & Elisabeth Stark. "DiFuPaRo Database: Opening the frontend." PARTE workshop. Partitive case, pronouns and determiners: diachrony and variation. University of Pavia, Italy. 3 September.

2019. Petra Sleeman, Leonie Cornips, Tabea Ihsane & Giuliana Giusti. "(Micro-) variation in the distribution of the partitive pronoun in Romance and Germanic." PARTE workshop. Partitive case, pronouns and determiners: diachrony and variation. University of Pavia, Italy. 2 September.

2019. Jan Davatz & Elisabeth Stark. "Unexpected partitive articles in Francoprovençal." PARTE workshop. Partitive case, pronouns and determiners: diachrony and variation. University of Pavia, Italy. 2 September.

2019. Francesco Pinzin & Cecilia Poletto. "Oh, partitive article, where art thou? Partitive Articles and indefinite quantities in Northern Italian Dialects." PARTE workshop. Partitive case, pronouns and determiners: diachrony and variation. University of Pavia, Italy. 2 September.

2019. Elisabeth Stark. "Partitivausdrücke und Romanische Dialektologie reloaded: Eindrücke aus dem Frankoprovenzalischen." LMU München in honour of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolf-Dieter Stempel's 90th birthday, Germany. 8 July.

2019. Jan Davatz & Elisabeth Stark. "niște en roumain – quantifieur ou déterminant ?" CILPR 2019, University of Copenhaguen, Denmark. 2 July.

2019. Francesco Pinzin & Cecilia Poletto. “Partitive Articles in French, Italian (and Northern Italian dialects).” Seminari di ricerca in linguistica, University of Venice. 9 March.

2019. Francesco Pinzin & Cecilia Poletto. “Partitive Articles in French, Italian (and Northern Italian dialects).” Seminari di ricerca in linguistica, University of Padova. 5 March. 

2019. Giuliana Giusti, Elvira Glaser, Tabea Ihsane, Petra Sleeman, Thomas Strobel. "Features and contexts of partitive pronouns: a cross-linguistic comparison."  PARTE workshop. Partitivity in European Languages. University of Zurich, Switzerland. 26 January.  https://www.spur.uzh.ch/en/research/synode/networks.html 

2019. Francesco Pinzin & Cecilia Poletto. "Partitive Articles in French, Italian (and Northern Italian Dialects)." PARTE workshop. University of Zurich, Switzerland. 26 January.  https://www.spur.uzh.ch/en/research/synode/networks.html 

2018. Francesco Pinzin & Cecilia Poletto. "Partitive articles in French, Italian and Northern Italian dialects.” Romanistik Colloquium, University of Frankfurt, Germany.  20 November.

2018. Elisabeth Stark, with David Gerards. "Why partitive articles in Romance languages? A comparative morphological account." NEREUS IX, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany. 9 November.

2018. Elisabeth Stark, with Larissa Binder. "Differential Object Marking in French: Myth or reality?" Differential object marking in Romance - towards microvariation, Paris, INaLCO. 9 November.

2018. Elisabeth Stark, with Franziska Stuntebeck. "L’oralité mise en scène ? Analyses de ‘l’incomplétude’ dans la communication électronique." 11. Frankoromanistentag Osnabrück, Germany. 28 October.

2018. Elisabeth Stark. Invited speaker. "Pourquoi des 'articles partitifs' dans les langues romanes ? Approche morphologique comparative." Colloque de recherche en linguistique. University of Lille, France. 26 October.

2018. Tabea Ihsane & Elisabeth Stark. "Presenting DiFuPaRo: Distribution and Function of ‘Partitive articles’ in Romance: A microvariation analysis.” Days of Swiss Linguistics 2018. University of Bern, Switzerland. 12 October.

2018. Elisabeth Stark, with Franziska Stuntebeck: “Sur l’omission des arguments verbaux dans les messages WhatsApp suisses." DIA V, Paris Nanterre, France. 7 September.

2018. Tabea Ihsane. "Preverbal subjects with a partitive article: The case of Francoprovençal in the Aosta Valley." Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE 2018), Workshop Preverbal Indefinite Subjects. University of Tallinn, Estonia. 29 August.

2018. Elisabeth Stark. Invited speaker. "Digital French - a new variety?" 25 LIPP-Symposium, University of Munich, Germany. 20 June.

2018. Francesco Pinzin & Cecilia Poletto. "DiFuPaRo, distribution and function of partitive articles in Romance, a microvariation analysis.” PARTE workshop, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 26 May.

2018. Cornips, Leonie & Cecilia Poletto. “Field methods for formal linguistics: some notes.” PARTE workshop, Amsterdam. 25 May.

2018. Elisabeth StarkInvited speaker. "L'expression de la réciprocité dans trois langues romanes." Workshop Les formes réfléchies du verbe : construction et polyvalence, University of Fribourg, Switzerland. 17 May.

 

4.2 Publications

Submitted. Pinzin F./C. Poletto. An indefinite maze: on the distribution of partitives and bare nouns in the Northern Italian dialects. Isogloss.

Accepted. Pinzin F./C. Poletto. Articoli partitivi e sintagmi nominali indefiniti: distribuzione comparativa nelle lingue dell'Italia del nord. Rivista Italiana di Dialettologia 44.

Accepted. Davatz, J./T. Ihsane/E. Stark. Enquêtes dialectologiques à Evolène : les articles dits 'partitifs' et leurs équivalents. In D. Aquino-Weber, S. Cotelli Kureth, A. Kristol et A. Reusser-Elzingre. Volume in homage of Federica Diémoz (Title TBA).

Accepted. Davatz, J./E. Stark. Romanian niște between non-specific and specific interpretations. In : Rosemeyer et al. (ed.), Romance Indefinites: From Semantics to Pragmatics. Language Science Press.

Forth. Stark, E./J. Davatz. Unexpected Partitive Articles in Francoprovençal. Studia Linguistica (Special issue edited by Pinzin F./C. Poletto).

Forth. Pinzin F./C. Poletto. Indefinite objects in micro-variation. A cross-linguistic analysis of the distribution of Partitives Articles, Bare Nominals and definite determiners in Northern Italy. Studia Linguistica (Special issue edited by Pinzin F./C. Poletto).

Forth. Ihsane, T. Preverbal subjects with a partitive article: a comparison between Aosta Valley Francoprovençal and French. Studia Linguistica (Special Issue edited by Pinzin F./C. Poletto).

Forth. Pinzin F./C. Poletto (Eds.). Partitive Articles and indefiniteness, micro and macrovariation. Studia Linguistica (Special Issue).

2021. Davatz, J./E. Stark. Niște en roumain – quantifieur ou déterminant ?. In : Lene Schøsler et al. (Hrsg), Actes XXIXe Congrès International de Linguistique et de Philologie Romane de Copenhague, 1er-6 juillet 2019. Strasbourg. 

2020. Ihsane, T./ Davatz, J./Pinzin, F./Stark, E. Guide to the DiFuPaRo database. https://difuparo.linguistik.uzh.ch

2020. Garzonio J./C. Poletto. Partitive Objects in Negative Contexts in Northern Italian Dialects. Linguistics 58.3: 621-650.

2020. Gerards D./E. Stark. Why ‘Partitive Articles’ do not Exist in (Old) Spanish. In T. Ihsane (ed.), Disentangling Bare Nouns and Nominals Introduced by a Partitive Article, 105-139. Syntax and Semantics Series. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill (published online in 2020; copyright 2021).

2020. Ihsane T. (Ed.). Disentangling Bare Nouns and Nominals Introduced by a Partitive Article. Syntax and Semantics Series. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill (published online in 2020; copyright 2021).

2020. Ihsane T. Introduction. In T. Ihsane (ed.), Disentangling Bare Nouns and Nominals Introduced by a Partitive Article, 1-16. Syntax and Semantics Series. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill (published online in 2020; copyright 2021).

2020. Ihsane T. Telicity, specificity, and complements with a plural “partitive article” in French. In T. Ihsane (ed.), Disentangling Bare Nouns and Nominals Introduced by a Partitive Article, 227-261. Syntax and Semantics Series. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill (published online in 2020; copyright 2021).

2020. Ihsane T./E. Stark. (Eds.) Shades of Partitivity: Formal and areal properties. Special issue in Linguistics, volume 58, issue 3.

2020. Ihsane T./E. Stark. Introduction: Shades of Paritivity: Formal and areal properties. In IhsaneT./E.Stark (eds.), Shades of Partitivity: Formal and areal propertiesLinguistics 58.3: 605-619.

2020. Sleeman P./T. Ihsane. Convergence and divergence in the expression of partitivity in French, Dutch, and German. Linguistics 58.3: 767-804.

2020. Stark E./D. Gerards. Partitive Articles in Aosta Valley Francoprovençal–Old Questions and New Data. In T. Ihsane (ed.), Disentangling Bare Nouns and Nominals Introduced by a Partitive Article, 301-334. Syntax and Semantics Series. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill (published online in 2020; copyright 2021).

2018. Garzonio, J./C. Poletto. "Exploiting microvariation: How to make the best of your incomplete data." Glossa 3(1): 1-21.

2018. Poletto, C. "L’etimologia come finestra sulla sintassi: evidenza empirica dai dialetti italiani." Repenser la variation linguistique. Glessgen et alii (eds.). Strasbourg: Éditions de linguistique et de philologie, 107.121

 

4.3 Conference/workshop organisation

2021. Petra Sleeman & Tabea Ihsane. Workshop on Partitivity at Going Romance. University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 1 December.

2021. Tabea Ihsane. Workshop on Pseudo-partitivity. University of Zurich, Switzerland, online. 2 July. Invited: Pavel Caha and Natascha Pomino.

2020. Urtzi Etxeberria, Tabea Ihsane, Ilja Seržant, Petra Sleeman, Anne Tamm. Workshop Variation in the Expression of Partitivity and Partitive Expressions. 14th International Conference of General Linguistics (CILG2020). University of Sevilla, Spain. Postponed to June 2021. Cancelled.

2019. Francesco Pinzin & Cecilia Poletto. Workshop Around Partitive Articles (Workshop of the DiFuPaRo Project), University Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 5 November.

2019. Tabea Ihsane, Elisabeth Stark, Elvira Glaser & Petra Sleeman. PARTE workshop. Partitivity in European Languages. University of Zurich, Switzerland. 26 January.

 

4.4 Database

2018-2021. The DiFuPaRo database. Jonathan Schaber, Johannes Graën, Jan Davatz, Tabea Ihsane, Francesco Pinzin, Cecilia Poletto & Elisabeth Stark. University of Zurich.

https://difuparo.linguistik.uzh.ch