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Birth, Death and Resurrection of Connectives in today’s online Piedmontese

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This article deals with the diachronic development of three interclausal connectives attested in Piedmontese from 16th-century written texts to today’s wiki-Piedmontese, i.e. the variety of Piedmontese used on wikipedia. After discussing the case of the plain borrowing of perĂ² ‘but, still’ from Italian into Piedmontese, I focus on the grammaticalization path which gave rise to the counterexpectational meaning of tutun, today widespread in wiki-Piedmontese (but almost unattested in spoken Piedmontese). Second, the history of maraman is put under scrutiny: maraman develops from a plain adverbial ‘immediately’ to a hypothetical connective ‘if, in the unfortuate case that’, and eventually back to adverbial uses, but with the new meaning of ‘gradually’. Finally, I discuss the developments of tutun and maraman as cases of contact-induced grammaticalization (or aborted grammaticalization due to the contact languages) and show how non-lexical items such as connectives are used by Piedmontese ausbauizers.

Keywords: Ausbauization; Piedmontese; connectives; contact-induced grammaticalization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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