On the polysemy of Italian spatial prepositions

 

Francesco Alessio Ursini

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to offer an account of the polysemy of Italian spatial prepositions (e.g. a, di fronte, verso). It is shown that the several possible senses of these lexical items can be disambiguated in a phrasal context, a fact crucially hinging on the properties of prepositions as denoting sets of distinct but relations over locations. The account also suggests that an architecture of grammar in which morpho-syntactic structures inform other components of language (here, semantics) such as Distributed Morphology is better suited to handle polysemy data than syntax-free frameworks (e.g. Cognitive Linguistics).

 

Keywords: prepositions • polysemy • Distributed Morphology • Italian

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