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Towards a classification of Sicilian object experiencer psych-verbs.


In this article we report the results of two surveys of object experiencer psych verbs conducted under the auspices of the Sicilian Linguistic Atlas. Two questionnaires were administered to 105 and, respectively, 25 dialect native speakers, and the results were analysed quantitatively using Rbrul (Johnson 2019). In accordance with the objectives of the Sicilian Linguistic Atlas, we measured the relevance of the variables age, education and provenance to the variation in the grammar of the verbs under scrutiny. We also applied the same statistical methods to the study of the correlation of verb classes with a number of morphosyntactic patterns. In light of our findings, we propose a lexico-semantic analysis of Sicilian object experiencer psych verbs which explains the variation in their morphosyntactic behaviour in terms of different patterns of lexicalization of the two features [±DYNAMIC] [±CAUSATIVE]. We classify the verbs under scrutiny into three groups: (i) [+DYNAMIC] [-CAUSATIVE] (es. ‘mbrugghiari ‘cheat/deceive’), (ii) [+DYNAMIC] [+CAUSATIVE] (es. culpiri ‘hit/impress’), (iii) [-DYNAMIC] [+CAUSATIVE] (es. annirbari ‘irritate’).