Italian People at Work

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Italian is the only major Romance language featuring a clause type exclusively devoted to expressing people's jobs. This type, the Job-<i>fare</i>-Construction (JFC), is constructed with a human subject and the verb <i>fare</i> 'do' followed by an obligatorily definite noun. The JFC has thus the appearance of a transitive clause. This paper provides numerous arguments for treating the post-verbal noun as a predicate rather than a direct object and for analysing the JFC as an intransitive in which <i>fare</i> works as a support verb. The JFC has then been compared to a copulative construction that also allows to express people's jobs. It has been shown that the former cannot be considered a doublet of the latter because the two clause-types differ both syntactically and semantically. Within the analysis we suggest, the JFC results from a reduction process alternately operating on two classifying nouns that simultaneously work as noun predicates.


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