I have several questions regarding the verbs such as tirarsela, cavarsela, vignarsela; darsele, suonarsele; and scordarselo, which are the so-called verbi procomplementari:

  1. Do all of such verbs have a participio passato? For example, by searching in Google Books, I can find the participio passato such as cavatasela but not such as cercatasela.

  2. What is the correct participio passato for such verbs: cavatasela or cavato/i/a/esela, i.e. does the ending always remain the same depending on the clitico la, le or lo, or does it always change within the four forms in -o/-a/-i/-e? In Google Books, there are results for both svignatasela and svignatosela but only for tiratosela.

  3. In accordance with question 2, what is the correct conjugation of such verbs in the tempi composti: noi ce la siamo tirata or noi ce la siamo tirati (tirate); voi ve lo siete scordato or voi ve le siete scordati (scordate), and so on?

Before asking, I have tried to find the answer in the article 'I verbi procomplementari tra grammatica e lessicografia' by A. Viviani. Here are several examples the researcher provides:

  • se la sono cavata (non sono stati puniti)

  • se la sono intesa per un anno e poi si sono lasciati

  • me la sono cavata

  • Carlo e Giacomo se le sono date per lei

This might suggest that the conjugation always depends on the clitico, but examples from Google Books show deviations from this assumption. I have sought the answer in the Grande grammatica italiana di consultazione by Renzi, Slavi, and Cardinaletti, but to no avail.

I would be grateful for any references to reliable academic sources.

  • 1
    They're not verbs on their own. I'm quite certain that one can find scordatasela in some book, but the clitic reflexive/medial particle si is not really used nowadays with the participio passato (and neither in other forms, except with the infinitive and in some fixed phrases such as vendesi).
    – egreg
    Jun 6 '19 at 8:43
  • 1
    I do not agree. They are classified as verbs on their own by De Mauro and a number of other linguists, as they are regarded as conveying a complex meaning in their entirety, with all the morphological components (even though other linguists might refrain from considering them as true verbs).
    – Eddy V.
    Jun 6 '19 at 8:45
  • Everybody is entitled their own opinions. Anyway, the main point was not about the classification, but about current usage in Italian, which avoids the clitics as I said.
    – egreg
    Jun 6 '19 at 9:23
  • 2
    As @egreg says, while they might be considered verbs in their own right as regards their use and meaning, in their conjugation they follow their “parent” verb. So, apart from obsolete or literary usage, there is no such thing as the participio passato of cavarsela, but rather the usual participio cavata/e in a sentence where se e la/e also appear.
    – DaG
    Jun 6 '19 at 13:14
  • 1
    se la sono cavata -> cavatasela quella volta, hanno continuato a delinquere // se la sono intesa per un anno -> intesasela per un anno, poi si sono lasciati // me la sono cavata -> cavatamela quella volta, non ho più rischiato // se le sono date per lei -> datesele per lei, poi ambedue l'hanno ignorata. They sound fine to me.
    – mario
    Jun 7 '19 at 16:07

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