09 May 2022: Diego Pescarini (CNRS): “Negation marking in central Romance: reviving some late 19th and early 20th century data”


Central Romance (i.e. Gallo-Romance and northern Italo-Romance) is an ideal test bed for the analysis of negation marking as all stages of Jespersen’s cycle are attested: languages exhibit a natural tendency to evolve from preverbal to postverbal negative marking through a stage in which two discontinuous negators co-occur. My talk
focuses on the factors that trigger or hinder the occurrence of either marker in the dialects that exhibit variation across contexts.

My work relies on second-hand data taken from the Linguistic Atlas of France (ALF) and the Linguistic Atlas of Southern Switzerland and Italy (AIS). Negative declarative clauses will serve as a baseline against which I will compare the relative incidence of negators in nonveridical contexts, e.g. imperatives, modal clauses, if clauses, etc. and in sentences containing various kinds of NPIs.


You can re-watch the lecture here:



Diego Pescarini is a permanent researcher at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in Nice and teaches Syntax at the Université Côte d’Azur. He has previously held research and teaching appointments at the Universities of Zurich, Frankfurt, Bristol and Padua, where he obtained his PhD in Linguistics. For his research on Romance comparative syntax, he has been awarded two Marie Curie Fellowships. His work has been published in journals such as Probus, Linguistic Inquiry, and Vox Romanica. He is the author of ‘Le costruzioni con si’ (Rome, 2015), ‘Romance object clitics’ (Oxford, 2021) and the co-editor with Roberta D’Alessandro of ‘Advances in Italian dialectology’ (Leiden, 2018).