The etymological substance of the Italian first- and second-person oblique clitic pronouns

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The first- and second-person plural oblique pronuns in modern standard Italian are ci and vi; other varieties of Italo-Romance present ne (rarely ni) and ve. The pronominal clitics ci, ne and vi are often identified etymologically with the local adverbs ci, ne and vi, reflecting Latin (*)hince, inde and ibi. According to a competing view only ci has an adverbial origin, whereas the pronominal clitics ne and vi reflect Latin nōs and uōs.
In this study I present the material and analyse it historically. I conclude that the latter hypothesis is more plausible: it was precisely the accidental merger of pronominal ne and vi (from Latin nōs and uōs) with adverbial ne and vi (from Latin inde and ibi) that triggered the replacement of ne with ci (from Latin (*)hince).
Original languageEnglish
JournalRevue Romane
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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