On truth persistence. A comparison between European Portuguese and Italian in relation to sempre

In Variation within and across Romance Languages. Selected papers from the 41st Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (2014)
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Abstract

This paper analyzes a non-temporal interpretation of the adverb sempre “always” in European Portuguese and Italian, in which the adverb expresses persistence of the truth of a proposition over time and displays specific contextual constraints (TP-sempre). Despite an overlap in the contexts in which TP-sempre may occur in both languages, we provide data showing that its distribution is not exactly the same in European Portuguese and Italian. In view of these data, we propose that TP-sempre is a modal operator of confirmation in both languages, but that it is more restricted in Italian in that it has a plan presupposition only in this language.

Author Profiles

Fabio Del Prete
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

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