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Ripatransone is a town of about 4300 inhabitants, in the southern Marche province of Ascoli Piceno.


Ripano is an upper-southern dialect displaying four genders: masculine, feminine, mass neuter and alternating neuter. The main peculiarity of Ripano is that almost every part of speech can be an agreement target, including numerals, verbs, prepositions, adverbs, and even nouns. For instance, in (1) the predicative noun sɔnnu ‘sleepiness’ agrees in gender and number with the subject: it takes two different endings depending on whether the subject is masculine or feminine. In (2), a prepositional phrase shows gender/number agreement controlled by the subject: the noun rome ‘Rome’ takes the masculine singular suffix –u when the clause subject is masculine singular, and the masculine plural suffix -i when the subject is masculine plural. Agreement of nouns within prepositional phrases was already considered dated when Harder wrote.

(1)    a.      tʃ=ajju sɔnna
                ‘I.M am sleepy.M’
        b.      tʃ=ajje sɔnne
                ‘I.F am sleepy.F’

(2)    a.      ʃi rəәmaʃtu a rromu
                ‘You.M stayed in Rome’
        b.     seti rəәmaʃti a rromi
                ‘you.MPL stayed in Rome’

Given such a complex system, our research aims to disentangle the syntactic and morphological conditions determining the distribution of agreement markers on controllers and targets.

For a more detailed description of Ripano and its relevance to the study of agreement, please refer to the overview written by Tania Paciaroni.

  • D’Alessandro, R. & D. Pescarini 2016. 'Agreement restrictions and agreement oddities' in Susann Fischer & Christoph Gabriel (eds.), Manual of Grammatical Interfaces in Romance. Berlin–New York: De Gruyter, 267-94.
  • D’Alessandro, R. 2017. ‘When you have too many features: Auxiliaries, agreement and clitics in Italian varieties’ Glossa 2/1, 50: 1-36.
  • Ferrari-Bridgers, F. 2010. 'The Ripano dialect: towards the end of a mysterious linguistic island in the heart of Italy' in Robert McColl Millar (ed.). Marginal Dialects: Scotland, Ireland and Beyond. Aberdeen: Forum for Research on the Languages of Scotland and Ulster, 107-30.
  • Harder, A. 1988. Laut- und Formenlehre der Mundart von Ripatransone. Diss. Kiel.
  • Lüdtke, H. 1976. 'La declinazione dei verbi in un dialetto di transizione marchigiano-abruzzese' Abruzzo 14: 79-84.
  • Mancini, A.M.. 1993. 'Le caratteristiche morfosintattiche del dialetto di Ripatransone (AP), alla luce di nuove ricerche' in Sanzio Balducci (ed.), I dialetti delle Marche meridionali. Alessandria: Edizioni dell’Orso, 111-36.
  • Parrino, F. 1967. 'Su alcune particolarità della coniugazione nel dialetto di Ripatransone' L’Italia dialettale 30: 156-66.

  • Loporcaro, M. 2018. Gender from Latin to Romance: history, geography, typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Paciaroni, T. & M. Loporcaro. 2018. 'Overt gender marking depending on syntactic context in Ripano' in S. Fedden, J. Audring & G. G. Corbett (eds.), Non-canonical gender systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 147-175.
  • Paciaroni, T. & M. Loporcaro (forth.). 'Il genere in ripano: manifesto, ma sub condicione' in B. Laca, A. Cardinaletti, E. Stark  & M. Van Peteghem (eds.). Atti del XXVIII Congresso Internazionale di linguistica e di filologia romanza (Roma, 18-23 luglio 2016). Section 9: Morfologia e sintassi. Strasbourg: ELiPhi.
  • Paciaroni, T. In press. ‘Nouvelles approches en géolinguistique: la hiérarchie d’héritage projetée sur le réseau dialectal abruzzais’ in J.-L. Léonard (ed.), Modélisation diasystémique et typologie. Special Issue of Verbum 42.
  • Paciaroni, T. In prep. ‘Unusual agreement targets in Ripano’ in M. Chumakina, O. Bond & S. Kaye (eds.), Agreement beyond the verb: Unusual targets, unexpected domains. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Paciaroni, T. In prep. ‘Paradigm splits across parts of speech’ to be submitted to Word Structure.
  • Loporcaro, M. 2018. 'Cumulative expression of inflection/derivation and nouns as agreement targets in Romance' workshop Zwischen Flexion und Derivation, Vienna, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 18 May 2018.
  • Paciaroni, T. 2016. 'Allomorphic complexity in Italo-Romance' IGM workshop, Zurich, 4 July 2016.
  • Paciaroni, T. 2017. 'L’accordo del verbo in ripano: forme e condizioni' 12th Cambridge Italian Dialect Syntax-Morphology Meeting (CIDSM 12), University of Cambridge, 3-5 July 2017. (invited talk)
  • Paciaroni, T. 2017. 'The morphology and syntax of agreement: some problems from Ripano' workshop Unlocking new data: Linguistic typology as a key to agreement variation, University of Zurich, 9 October 2017.
  • Paciaroni, T. & M. Loporcaro 2015. 'Overt gender marking depending on syntactic context in Ripano' workshop on 'Non-canonical gender systems, 48th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Leiden, 2-5 September 2015.
  • Paciaroni, T. & M. Loporcaro 2015. 'Multi-layered default in Ripano' workshop Inheritance Hierarchies in Morphology, Zurich, 10-11 November 2015.
  • Paciaroni, T. & M. Loporcaro 2016. 'Il genere in ripano: manifesto, ma sub condicione' XXVIII Congresso Internazionale di Linguistica e Filologia Romanza, Rome, 18-23 July 2016.