On the origin of Italian adjectival colour compounds

of the type grigioverde ‘grey-green’

 

Franz Rainer

 

Abstract

Intersective Italian adjective-adjective compounds of the type grigio-verde ‘grey-green’ first became frequent in languages for specific purposes in the 18th century. In this paper, I intend to show that both the chronology and the genre restriction are naturally explained if we assume that these Italian compounds are adaptations of the corresponding Neo-Latin type, which was itself an innovation of the 17th century.

 

Keywords: adjective-adjective compounds • colour terms • Neo-Latin • Italian • language history

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