Researchers at UCD


Paolo Acquaviva

Senior Lecturer

School Of Languages and Literature
Newman Building
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7168655


Paolo Acquaviva is a graduate of the University of Pisa and of the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, where he obtained his doctorate in 1993. He worked at UCD from 1990 to 1996, and then again since 1999, after 3 years at the University of Venice. He won an IRCHSS Senior Fellowship (2004-5) and a Humboldt Fellowship in (2007-8). His research has developed from generative syntax to theoretical morphology, especially in its relation with semantics and theories of the lexicon. His main areas of interest are the morphology and semantics of plurality, for which he published the monograph Lexical Plurals (OUP, 2008), the theory of morphological roots and lexical categories, and the conceptual bases of nominality.


Honours and Awards

Year: 2004.
Title: IRCHSS Government of Ireland Senior Research Fellow in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Year: 2007.
Title: Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship


Association: Societa' di Linguistica Italiana, Function/Role: Member
Association: Philological Society, Function/Role:
Association: Dublin Foundation for Italian Studies, Function/Role: treasurer since January 2006

Conference Contributions

Acquaviva, P. (2010) Nouns and the conceptualisation of entities. [Non Refereed Paper/Abstract Presented at Conference], Conference of the Irish Network for Formal Linguistics (INFL), Belfast, University of Ulster at Jordanstown , 12-FEB-10 - 12-FEB-10.
Acquaviva, P. (2011) Tense, features, abd stems in Irish verbal morphology. [Chaired Session], Conference of the Irish Network for Formal Linguistics (INFL), Belfast, Jordanstown , 25-MAY-11 - 25-MAY-12.
Acquaviva, P. (2011) Nation, language, and identity: The fascinating case of Italian. [Invited Lecture], Settimana della lingua italiana, Istituto italiano di cultura, Dublin , 19-OCT-11 - 19-OCT-11.
Acquaviva, P. (2011) Morphological roots and lexical concepts. [Invited Lecture], Workshop on Syntax and Semantics 8, Paris, CNRS UPS-Pouchet , 17-NOV-11 - 17-NOV-11.
Acquaviva, P. and P. Panagiotidis (2011) Lexical decomposition meets conceptual atomism. [International Refereed Conference], First Workshop of the European Network for Word Structure (NetWordS), Pisa, CNR , 24-NOV-11 - 26-NOV-11.
Acquaviva, P. (2012) Plurality, nominality, and the structure of DP. [Invited Lecture], OxMorph3 - Morphology in Oxford, Oxford, Trinity College , 29-MAY-12 - 29-DEC-12.
Acquaviva, P. (2012) Tense, features, and stems in Irish verbal inflection. [Oral Presentation], Seminaire de recherche, Université de Paris 7 Diderot, Paris, Université de Paris 7 Diderot , 07-MAR-12 - 07-MAR-12.
Acquaviva, P. (2012) Roots, concepts, and word structure: On the atoms of lexical semantics. [Plenary Lecture], 15th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna , 09-FEB-12 - 12-FEB-12.
Acquaviva, P. (2012) Roots in the mind, roots as exponents. [Invited Lecture], Workshop on the Representation and Selection of Exponents (WoRSE), Tromso, Norway , 07-JUN-12 - 08-JUN-12.
Acquaviva, P.; (2010) Dependent verbs and Tense in irish morphosyntax. [International Refereed Conference], Sixth Celtic Linguistics Conference, UCD , 10-SEP-10 - 12-SEP-10.
Acquaviva, P.; (2010) Morphomic stem extension and the German n-declension. [International Refereed Conference], Perspectives on the Morphome, Coimbra, Portugal , 29-OCT-10 - 30-OCT-10.
Acquaviva, P.; (2010) Part Structure and Countability in Grammar and Cognition. [International Refereed Conference], Empirical, Theoretical and Computational Approaches to Countability in Natural Language, Bochum, Germany , 22-SEP-10 - 24-SEP-10.
Acquaviva, P.; (2009) The roots of nominality, the nominality of roots. [Invited Oral Presentation], Roots: Word Formation from the Perspective of Core Lexical Elements, Stuttgart, Germany , 10-JUN-09 - 13-JUN-09.
Acquaviva, P.; (2009) Nominality: Grammar and Conceptualization in the Lexicon. [Chaired Session], Words in Action, Pisa, Italy , 12-OCT-09 - 13-OCT-09.
Acquaviva, P.; (2008) Roots, categories and nominal concepts. [Invited Lecture], Words don't come easy, Verona, Italy , 17-NOV-08 - 18-NOV-08.
Acquaviva, P.; (2008) Roots and Lexicality in Distributed Morphology. [Invited Oral Presentation], Fifth York-Essex Morphology Meeting, York , 08-FEB-08 - 10-FEB-08.
Acquaviva, P.; (2008) Stems, Gender, Class, and the Structural Representation of Italian Nominal Inflection. [Invited Lecture], Kolloquium Fachbereich Sprachwissenschaft, Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany , 06-JUN-08 - 06-JUN-08.
Acquaviva, P.; (2008) The structur eof the Italian declension system. [Oral Presentation], Décembrettes 6 - Morphologie et classes flexionelles, Bordeaux, France , 04-DEC-08 - 04-DEC-08.
Acquaviva, P.; (2008) Roots and Lexicality In Distributed Morphology. [Chaired Session], The morphology of roots and lexical properties, Konstanz, Germany , 30-MAY-08 - 31-MAY-08.
Acquaviva, P.; (2007) Little [n], English adjectives, and the structure of lexical categories. [Chaired Session], Kolloquium Fachbereich Sprachwissenschaft, Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany , 25-OCT-07 - 25-OCT-07.
Acquaviva, P.; (2007) Inflectional morphology as lexeme formant: evidence from Breton. [Invited Lecture], Formal and semantic constraints in morphology, Universität Konstanz, Germany , 01-NOV-07 - 02-NOV-10.
Acquaviva, P.; (2007) Plurality and lexicality. [Invited Lecture], Journées d'étude sur la pluralité nominale et verbale, Université Paris 8, France , 09-SEP-07 - 10-NOV-07.
Acquaviva, P., Wiemer. B.; (2006) The interplay of lexical semantics and grammatical categories in typology and language description. [International Refereed Conference], Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft, Bielefeld (Germany) , 24-FEB-06.
Acquaviva, P.; (2003) The morphosemantics of transnumeral nouns. [International Refereed Conference], Mediterranean Morphology Meeting, Catania (Italy) , 21-SEP-03 - 23-SEP-03.
Acquaviva, P.; (2007) Little [n] and the structure of adjectives. [International Refereed Conference], Workshop on Theoretical Moprhology, Leipzig (Germany) , 22-JUN-07.
Acquaviva, P.; (2007) Plurality and the conceptualization of ontology. [International Refereed Conference], Plurality and structure in ontology, Paris (France) , 03-OCT-07.
Acquaviva, P.; (2007) The ontological status of names. [International Refereed Conference], First Res per nomen Conference, Reims (France) , 24-MAY-07 - 26-MAY-07.
Acquaviva, P.; (2004) Constraining Inherent Inflection: Number and Nominal Aspect. [International Refereed Conference], International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, Austria , 13-FEB-04 - 17-FEB-04.
Acquaviva, P.; (2003) I significati delle nominalizzazioni in -ATA e i loro correlati morfologici. [International Refereed Conference], Congresso della Società di Linguistica Italiana, L'Aquila (Italy) , 26-SEP-03 - 28-SEP-03.
Acquaviva, P.; (2003) Goidelic inherent plurals and the morphosemantics of number. [Oral Presentation], Fourth Celtic Linguistics Conference, Selwyn College, Cambridge, UK , 01-SEP-03 - 03-SEP-03.
Acquaviva, P.; (2002) Lexemes at listed structure: Evidence from italian irregular plurals. [Oral Presentation], Troisième Forum de Morphologie, Universite Charles de Gaulle, Lille, France , 19-SEP-02 - 21-SEP-02.
Acquaviva, P.; (2001) Agreement in autonomous morphology: Evidence from Irish prepositions. [Poster Presentation], Third Mediterranean Morphology Meeting, Barcellona, Spain , 20-SEP-01 - 22-SEP-01.
Acquaviva, P.; (2000) The systematic nature of verbal and prepositional agreement in Irish. [Oral Presentation], Fifth Conference on Gaelic Linguistics (Comhdháil do Theangeolaíocht na Gaeilge), Limerick, Ireland , 14-APR-00 - 15-APR-00.
Acquaviva, P.; (2000) Irish agreement as a morphological phenomenon. [Oral Presentation], Third Celtic Linguistics Conference, University College Dublin, Ireland , 12-MAY-00 - 14-MAY-00.


Committee : Research and Innovation committee, School of Languages and Literatures
Committee : Dublin Foundation for Italian Studies


Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Lecturer
Employer: Universita di Venezia
Position: Ricercatore
Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Lecturer
Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Senior Lecturer


Year 1989 Institution: University of Pisa
Qualification: Laurea in Lettere Subject:
Year 1993 Institution: University of Pisa
Qualification: PhD Subject:





Acquaviva, Paolo (2013) Il nome. Roma: Carocci. [Details]
Acquaviva, P; (2008) Lexical Plurals: A Morphosemantic Approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1997) The Logical Form of Negation: A Study of Operator-Variable Structures in Syntax. Garland outstanding dissertations in linguistics. New York: Garland. [Details]

Book Chapters

Acquaviva, Paolo. (2014) 'The roots of nominality, the nominality of roots' In: Alexiadou, Artemis, Hagit Borer, and Florian Schaefer (eds). The syntax of roots and the roots of syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press. , pp.33-56 [Details]
Acquaviva, P. (2014) 'Roots, concepts, and word structure: on the atoms of lexical semantics' In: F. Rainer, W. U. Dressler, F. Gardani, and H.C. Luschützky (eds). Morphology and Meaning. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. , pp.49-70 Link to full text [Details]
Acquaviva, Paolo (2013) 'Tense and Features in Irish Verbal Morphology' In: Rhys, Catrin, Pavel Iosad, and Alison Henry (eds). Minority Languages, Microvariation, Minimalism and Meaning. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. , pp.70-90 [Details]
Acquaviva, Paolo; (2011) 'Les langues celtiques' In: Bonvini, E., Busuttil, J., Peyraube, A (eds). Dictionnaire des langues. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. , pp.776-783 [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (2009) 'The ontological status of names' In: Frath, P, Gledhill, C. and Pauchard, P (eds). Res per Nomen. Reims: Editions et presses universitaires de Reims. , pp.83-98 [Details]
Acquaviva, P; (2005) 'The morphosemantics of transnumeral nouns' In: G. Booij, E. Guevara, A. Ralli, S. Sgroi and S. Scalise (eds.) (eds). Morphology and Linguistic Typology. Bologna: University of Bologna. , pp.252-265 Available Online [Details]
Acquaviva, P; (2005) 'significati delle nominalizzazioni in -ATA e i loro correlati morfologici' In: Acquaviva, P; (eds). La formazione delle parole: atti del XXXVII convegno della Società Linguistica Italiana. Roma: Bulzoni. , pp.7-27 Link to full text [Details]
Acquaviva, Paolo; (2003) 'Agreement in Autonomous Morphology: Evidence from Irish Prepositions' In: Booij, G, de Cesaris, J., Ralli, A., Scalise, S (eds). Topics in Morphology. Selected Papers from the 3rd Mediterranean Morphology Meeting. , pp.75-89 [Details]
Acquaviva, P; (2003) 'Lexemes as listed structures: Evidence from italian irregular plurals' In: G. Dal, B. Fradin, F. Kerleroux, N. Hathout, M. Plénat and M. Roché (eds.) (eds). Silexicales 3 : les unités morphologiques. Villeneuve d¿Ascq: Université de Lille. [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (2001) 'Syntactic intervention effects on Italian polarity items' In: In G. Cinque and G. Salvi (eds.), North-Holland, Elsevier Science (eds). Current studies in Italian syntax. Essays Offered to Lorenzo Renzi. , pp.1-18 [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1997) 'A note on pronominal variable binding and linearity' In: In A. Ahlqvist and V. Capkova (eds.), Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann, Baile Átha Cliath (eds). Dán do Oide. Essays in memory of Conn Ó Cleirigh. , pp.1-13 [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1997) 'The Logical form of Negative Concord' In: In F. Corblin, D. Godard and J.-M. Marandin (eds.), Peter Lang, Berlin (eds). Empirical issues in formal syntax and semantics. , pp.13-41 [Details]
Acquaviva, Paolo; (1996) 'Irish Negation and the Representation of Monotone Decreasing Quantifiers' In: Borsley, Robert and Roberts, Ian (eds). The Syntax of the Celtic Languages. , pp.284-313 [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1991) 'Frasi argomentali completive e soggettive' In: In L. Renzi e G. Salvi (eds.), il Mulino, Bologna. (eds). Grande grammatica italiana di consultazione, vol. II. , pp.633-674 [Details]

Edited Books

Acquaviva, P. and Petrie, J (Ed.). (2007) Dante and the Church. Dublin: Four Courts Press. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Acquaviva, Paolo (2014) 'Distributing roots: Listemes across components inDistributed Morphology'. Theoretical Linguistics, 40 (3/4):277-286. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Acquaviva, Paolo (2014) 'The categories of Modern Irish verbal inflection'. Journal Of Linguistics, 50 :537-586. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Acquaviva, P; (2002) 'The morphological dimension of polarity licensing'. Linguistics, 40 :925-959. [Details]
Acquaviva, Paolo, and Phoevos Panagiotidis (2012) 'Lexical decomposition meets conceptual atomism'. Lingue E Linguaggio, XI (2):165-180. Link to full text [Details]
Acquaviva, P; (2006) 'Goidelic inherent plurals and the morphosemantics of number'. Lingua, 116 :1860-1887. Link to full text [Details]
Acquaviva, P; (2006) 'Plural mass nouns and the compositionality of number'. Verbum, 26 (4):387-401. [Details]
Acquaviva Paolo; (2004) 'Constraining inherent inflection: Number and Nominal Aspect'. Folia Linguistica, 38 :333-354. Link to full text [Details]
Acquaviva, P. and Volpe, M.; (2002) 'Open-class roots in closed-class contexts: a question for lexical insertion'. Snippets, 5 :5-6. [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (2002) 'Il plurale in -a come derivazione lessicale'. Lingue E Linguaggio, 2 :295-326. [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (2000) 'Sull'autenticità dell'iscrizione runica di Torcello'. Rivista Di Archeologia, 24 :5-14. [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (2000) 'La grammatica italiana: il lavoro comincia adesso'. Lingua E Stile, 35 (2):249-271. [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1999) 'Deriving [± strong] Features from Morphology: Head Movement and Beyond'. Rivista Di Grammatica Generativa, 22 :3-35. [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1999) 'Negation and Operator Dependences: Evidence from Italian'. Lingua, 108 :137-174. [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1998) ' Uralic Negative Auxiliaries and Universal Constraints on Negation. '. Asiatica Venetiana, 3 :3-17. [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1998) 'Pronominal Variable Binding, NegP, and Reconstruction. Linguistic Analysis'. Linguistic Analysis, 27 (1/2):3-25. [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1994) 'The representation of operator-variable dependencies in sentential negation'. Studia Linguistica, 48 (2):91-132. [Details]
Acquaviva, Paolo; (1992) 'The representation of negative quantifiers'. Rivista Di Linguistica, 4 (2):319-381. [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1990) 'Un'analisi della complementazione dei predicati fattivi'. Rivista Di Grammatica Generativa, 15 :3-28. [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1990) 'La funzione sintattica delle marche morfologiche di lenizione e nasalizzazione in antico irlandese'. Annali Della Scuola Normale Superiore Di Pisa, :695-728. [Details]

Other Journals

P. Acquaviva; (1999) 'Allomorphy and Morphosyntax in Irish Prepositional Inflection' University of Venice Working Papers in Linguistics 9 (2) :1-57. [Details]
P. Acquaviva; (1998) 'Morphology, Checking Theory and Polarity Licensing' University of Venice Working Papers in Linguistics 8 (1) :1-26. [Details]
P. Acquaviva; (1996) 'The Logical Form of Negative Concord' University of Venice Working Papers in Linguistics 6 (2) :1-27. [Details]
P. Acquaviva; (1995) 'Operator composition and the derivation of Negative Concord' Geneva Generative Papers 3 (2) :72-104. [Details]

Conference Publications

Acquaviva, Paolo; (2009) The structure of the Italian declension system . In: Montermini, Fabio, Gilles Boyé, and Jesse Tseng eds. 6th Décembrettes: Morphology in Bordeaux, , pp.50-62 [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (2009) Roots and Lexicality in Distributed Morphology . In: Galani, Alexandra, Daniel Redinger and Norman Yeo eds. York-Essex Morphology Meeting 2 York, , 09-FEB-08 - 10-FEB-08 , pp.1-21 Available Online Link to full text [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (2005) The morphosemantics of transnumeral nouns . In: Booij, G., Guevara, E., Ralli, A., Sgroi, S. and Scalise, S eds. Morphology and Linguistic Typology. On-line Proceedings of the Fourth Mediterranean Morphology Meeting (MMM4) University of Bologna, , pp.252-265 Available Online [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (2005) I significati delle nominalizzazioni in -ATA e i loro correlati morfologici . In: Grossmann, M. and Thornton, A eds. Atti del 37 congresso della Società di Linguistica Italiana: la formazione delle parole Roma, Bulzoni, , pp.7-29 [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (2003) Lexemes as listed structures: Evidence from italian irregular plurals . In: Dal, G., Fradin, B., Kerleroux, F., Hathout, N., Plénat, M. and Roché, M eds. Silexicales 3 : les unités morphologiques Villeneuve d'Ascq, Université de Lille, , pp.1-10 [Details]
Acquaviva, P; (2003) The morphosemantics of transnumeral nouns . In: G. Booij, E. Guevara, A. Ralli, S. Sgroi and S. Scalise eds. Fourth Mediterranean Morphology Meeting Catania, Italy, , 21-SEP-03 - 23-SEP-03 [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (2002) Agreement in autonomous morphology: evidence from Irish prepositions . In: de Cesaris, J., Booj, G., Ralli, A. and Scalise, S eds. Proceedings of the 3rd Mediterranean Morphology Meeting, Barcelona, Institut Universitari de Lingüística Aplicada Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, , pp.75-90 [Details]

Electronic Publication

Acquaviva, Paolo (2013) Number - Oxford Bibliographies in Linguistics, ed. M. Aronoff. Oxford: Electronic Publication [Details]

Book Reviews

Acquaviva, P (2000) The syntax of negation. Book Reviews [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (2002) Review of R. Zanuttini (1997), Negation and Clausal Structure. Book Reviews [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (2000) Review of L. Haegeman, The Syntax of Negation. Book Reviews [Details]

Research Papers

Acquaviva, P.; (2003) Irish prepositional agreement and autonomous morphology. Research Papers [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1998) Morphology, Checking Theory and Polarity Licensing. Research Papers [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1996) The Logical Form of Negative Concord. Research Papers [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1995) Operator composition and the derivation of Negative Concord. Research Papers [Details]


Acquaviva, P.; (1999) Negation and Operator Dependencies. Articles [Details]
Acquaviva, P.; (1999) Allomorphy and morphosyntax in Irish prepositional inflection. Articles [Details]


Research Interests

Italian and general linguistics; morphology and its interface with semantics; plurals; theories of the lexicon; Distributed Morphology; linguistic ontology.

Current research projects
The bases of nominality in morphology, semantics and conceptualization.
The theory of proper names.

Italian nominal morphology and inflectional classes

The morphological and semantic categories of the Irish verbal system

Number and numbers in natural language.

Roots in Distributed Morphology

Research Projects

Sponsor : European Science Foundation (ESF)
Title : Motion as a fundamental construct of mind and language
Start Date / End Date : 10-JUN-13 / 10-JAN-14
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : A theory of possible lexical items for visual objects
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-15 / 30-SEP-16
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Lexicalization of manner in motion verbs: Italian in a crosslinguistic perspective.
Start Date / End Date : 17-MAY-10 / 16-NOV-11
Sponsor : Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS)
Title : Lexicalisation of the manner component in motion verbs: Evidence from Italian
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-11 / 30-SEP-13

Recent Postgraduates

Christopher Mulhall: Listed phrases as a lexicographical problem. A comparative analysis of idioms in bilingual Italian-English dictionaries. (PhD, from September 2004).

Current Postgraduate Students

Niamh Ní Dhomhnaill, Master of Literature (MLitt)   -   Thesis Supervisor