The prepositional expressions containing French "travers" and Italian "traverso": a functional semantic description from a diachronic perspective.

Project Details


This PhD project, which belongs to the research tradition of Romance historical semantics and combines diachronic methods with cognitive hypotheses, has three main goals:
- to provide a complete diachronic-semantic description of all uses of the total set of the nearly
unexplored expressions containing French travers and Italian traverso;
- to allow us to better understand the past and current functioning of the expressions at hand, and the
diachronic development of analytical spatial prepositions in general;
- to distinguish between more general and language-specific mechanisms of semantic and grammatical evolution by carrying out a comparison between the two languages under study.

Our inquiry is grounded on a coherent interpretative framework in that it uses functional notions that describe the whole group of expressions containing travers or traverso. Insights provided by various semantic descriptions will be relied on and refined. Our functional framework will allow us to build up a historical analysis of Latin, French and Italian tokens and to reconstruct the evolution that affected the expressions athand from their first occurrences till their present-day use.The different uses identified will be grouped together with reference to a prototypical nucleus, so as tocapture their mutual relations and connections. The originality of our project resides in the fact that a functionalapproach will be applied to a diachronic problematics.

Effective start/end date1/10/0930/09/13

Flemish discipline codes

  • Languages and literary studies