On Scalarity in the Verbal Domain. The Case of Polish Psych Verbs. Part 1: Polish Perfective Psych Verbs and Their Prefixes

Ewa Willim


Polish perfective psych verbs are generally analyzed as inceptive predicates denoting the beginning of an emotional state holding of an experiencer. However, a perfective psych verb can also denote an event of gradual scalar change. In this paper, I argue that on the inceptive reading a perfective psych predicate denotes a transition from a state in which p does not hold to a state in which p holds of an experiencer.  In events of gradual change, there is an increase in the degree on the scale of intensity of a given psych state or on the (abstract) extent scale contributed by a verb’s argument. As the internal temporal structure of the events denoted by perfective psych predicates can depend on elements of syntactic context outside the verb, the domain of aspectual composition in Polish is not the verb, pace Rothstein (2020), but VoiceP/vP.

Słowa kluczowe: inceptivity, Aktionsart, perfectivity, verbal prefix, Scale Hypothesis, scalar change, experiencer, Polish

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