Old Venetan and the typology of Negative Concord

  • Jacopo Garzonio University of Padova


Partial and optional Negative Concord (NC) systems represent a challenge for any theory dealing with the syntax-semantics interface of negative dependencies. In this article I describe the NC concord system of Old Venetan varieties. These medieval North-Eastern Italian Dialects present a system of partial strict NC. More precisely, Old Venetian is a strict NC language, while Old Paduan and Old Veronese allow the presence of some negative words in the preverbal space without the preverbal sentential negator. In the article I argue, also on the basis of a comparison with modern Venetan dialects which have maintained a similar NC system, that strict NC, i.e. the presence of the preverbal negation, is a repair strategy emerging when the feature [uNeg] of negative words is blocked by other features, like [Focus], and is not able to make visible the covert negative operator Op.