So-called psychological verbs such as Italian temere ‘fear’ preoccupare ‘worry’ and piacere ‘like’ denote a particular state that involves an Experiencer and a second role taker that causes, initiates or is related to the psychological state. They present an extremely varied argument structure across languages that arranges these two roles in apparently inverted hierarchies and assigns them different grammatical functions (subject, direct, indirect and prepositional objects). This paper aims to provide a descriptively adequate taxonomy of psych-verbs in Latin in a comparative perspective with Italian. We individuate seven classes of psych-verbs and show that they distribute across the transitive, unergative, unaccusative pattern with the possibility of externalising either argument, therefore creating three “direct” and three “inverted” classes. The seventh class is impersonal, with no external argument. We show that the diachronic variation and apparent idiosyncrasies displayed by some verbs can be explained by the proposal that the seven classes are potentially available to all psych-roots. For this reason, psych-verbs present a high degree of vulnerability in language contact and change which results in intra-language optionality and diachronic variation.
Giusti, Giuliana (Corresponding)
|Titolo:||Psychological verbs as a vulnerable syntactic domain: A comparative study of Latin and Italian|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Articolo su rivista |