An Evaluative Head in Romance
The Palermitan Verbal Affix -vu
In this work, we analyse the behaviour of a verbal suffix in Palermitan – the Romance language spoken in Palermo, Sicily – expressing an evaluative meaning with sentential scope. The suffix is (V)vu, where V is the thematic vowel of the verb. The Palermitan dialect we study here is the one spoken in the urban area, approximately by 250,000 speakers. This suffix is interesting for several reasons. In the first place, an evaluative morpheme with clausal scope is quite unusual in Romance and to our knowledge it has not been reported outside Sicily. In the second place, as we will illustrate later, its use is spreading among the youngest generation, showing that the dialect is productive and the form under scrutiny is adopted by larger segments of the population, even if it does not exist in Italian.
Keywords: Palermitan • Verbal morphosyntax • Italian dialects • Speaker • Evaluatives