‘Do’-support in the northern Italian Camuno

Nicola Swinburne


The Camuno dialect uses an auxiliary fa ‘do’ in an interrogative construction that strongly resembles English do-support. Stages of its grammaticalization remain within the different valley dialects. When optional, fa-support (FS) coexists with verb-subject clitic inversion (SCI), e.g fa-la mangià (does she eat) / màngia-la (eats-she)‘l peh da hena? (the fish for supper?) There are semantic restrictions on the type of supported verb: manner > result > state. Questions are pragmatically marked with speaker answer expectations, and are opinion-seeking. A wh-item (normally ‘insitu’) has specific reference. Impersonal questions are agrammatical with optional FS but not obligatory FS. A biclausal model with a lexically rich fa ‘do’ is suggested for optional FS.


‘do’-support; specificity; embedded questions; indirect questions

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v7i1.5211

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