The use of connectors: is però always equivalent to mais?
2011, Vol. XVI-2, pp. 57-74
Italian grammars written for French speakers do not pay much attention to però and touch very briefly upon its difference with respect to ma. The present study is based upon a detailed analysis of French translation equivalents of però in Veronesi's novel Caos calmo (2005) and draws upon Italian oral data from the LIP corpus (1993). Results of this study show how the grammars considered fail to offer clear indications concerning the freedom of position inside the sentence and the stronger value of però. Furthermore, the introduction of the diachronic dimension shows the gradual development of contrast relations out of temporal and causal lexical sources along paths already established for the processes of grammaticalization and highlights the present-day distribution in both languages.