Linguistics in Göttingen - A platform for empirical and theoretical linguistics

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Olga Kellert (Göttingen)

Free Choice Items in Old Italian. A case study of wh-unque 'wh-ever'

In this talk, I will argue for a focus analysis of the Old Italian FCI wh-unque 'wh-ever' (in line with Rawlin's 2008 analysis of wh-ever in English) and unify 3 different uses of unque in Old Italian, NPI use 'ever', FCI use 'whatever' and scalar Focus use 'even DP/PP'. I will argue that unque is an alternative sensitive item and that the different uses of unque are the reflex of different types of alternatives it associates with (+/- temporal, +/- wh). Unque triggers a scalar meaning similar to NPI-even according to which even the least likely alternative has to be taken into consideration.