Volume 54, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0035-3906
  • E-ISSN: 1600-0811
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This paper takes into account a particular set of Italian Complex Prepositions signaling the agent of an action (e.g. ‘by’, ‘by’). Italian exhibits several types of complex prepositions revealing a different involvement of the Agent: in particular, these complex lexemes can introduce and distinguish the participants who (i) plan and intentionally conceive an action, (ii) perform it and/or (iii) have a coercive power over its performing.

The contribution aims to: (i) distinguish these Italian complex prepositions according to their functions, meanings, and the degree of involvement of the participant they introduce; (ii) analyze the collocational features and the syntactic environments where these lexemes occur; (iii) individuate possible correlations between their frequency of occurrence and the grammatical value; (iv) analyze their diachronic evolution across different historical phases; (v) put into relation the synchronic restrictions with the original syntactic environment within which the complex prepositions have been reanalyzed.


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