• Marco Mazzoleni


The topic of this paper is a phenomenon attested in the (sub-) regional Italian spoken in Romagna, the combination of the so-called “imminenziale” value of the imperfective past tense of the indicative, adopted to refer to almost but not necessarily occurred events, with the adverb ormai, used not in its standard Italian meaning but with that of quasi ‘nearly’: “Ormai mi facevi mangiare viva da un cane!” (‘You nearly have me eaten alive by a dog!’). Firstly the paper summarizes the temporal, aspectual and modal-epistemic basic features of imperfective past tense of the indicative (the imperfective visualization of past facts) and its textual function in narrative language (the backgrounding of collateral situations vs. the foregrounding of central actions or events obtained with the use of aspectually perfective verbal forms, and its interaction with the statistical preference for the expression of back-grounded situations in dependent clauses and for that of foregrounded actions or events in main clauses). Then the specific features of the so-called “imminenziale” value of the imperfective past tense of the indicative and some alternative options that contemporary standard Italian offers to express this value are described, and finally some examples of this ‘Adverb + Verb Form’ combination – typical of the Romagna geographical area and probably influenced by the local dialectal substratum – are shown.


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How to Cite
Mazzoleni, M. (2017). “ORMAI CADEVA” = ‘HE NEARLY / ALMOST FELL (OVER)’. PALIMPSEST / ПАЛИМПСЕСТ, 2(4), 35-44. Retrieved from http://js.ugd.edu.mk/index.php/PAL/article/view/1968