Impersonal Constructions

A cross-linguistic perspective

| Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Institute for Linguistic Studies, St. Petersburg & Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
| University of Lancaster
ISBN 9789027205919 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027287168 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
This volume offers a much needed typological perspective on impersonal constructions, which are here viewed broadly as constructions lacking a referential subject. The contributions to this volume deal with all types of impersonality, namely constructions featuring nonagentive subjects, including those with experiential predicates (A-impersonals), presentational constructions with a notional subject deficient in topicality (T-impersonals), and constructions with a notional subject lacking in referential properties (R-impersonals), i.e. both meteo-constructions and man-constructions. The typological discussion benefits from a good coverage of impersonality in European languages, but also includes considerations of several African, American, South-East Asian, Australian, and Oceanic languages. The variation in the cross-linguistic realization of impersonality and the diachronic pathways leading to and from impersonality documented in this volume point to a novel perspective on impersonals as transitional structures or an intermediate stage of a more basic diachronic change be it from transitive to intransitive, or from active to passive, or participant-to event-centered construction.
[Studies in Language Companion Series, 124]  2011.  ix, 641 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
List of contributors
Andrej L. Malchukov and Anna Siewierska
Part I. Impersonal constructions
Towards a typology of impersonal constructions: A semantic map approach
Andrej L. Malchukov and Akio Ogawa
Overlap and complementarity in reference impersonals: Man-constructions vs. third person plural-impersonals in the languages of Europe
Anna Siewierska
Verbs of motion: Impersonal passivization between unaccusativity and unergativity
Werner Abraham
On the distribution of subject properties in formulaic presentationals of Germanic and Romance: A diachronic-typological approach
Volker Gast and Florian Haas
Part II. Impersonal constructions
Impersonal constructions and accusative subjects in Late Latin
Michela Cennamo
From passive to impersonal: A case study from Italian and its implications
Anna Giacalone Ramat and Andrea Sansó
Passive to anticausative through impersonalization: The case of Vedic and Indo-European
Leonid Kulikov
Part III. Cross-linguistic variation in Impersonal constructions
The Maa (Eastern Nilotic) Impersonal construction
Doris L. Payne
Impersonal constructions in Jóola-Banjal
Alain Christian Bassène and Denis Creissels
Impersonal configurations and theticity: The case of meteorological predications in Afroasiatic
Amina Mettouchi and Mauro Tosco
Revisiting impersonal constructions in Modern Hebrew: Discourse-based perspectives
Ruth A. Berman
The elephant in the room: The impersonal -ne/-te construction in Polish
Anna Kibort
Meteorological verbs in Uralic languages – are there any impersonal structures to be found
Merja Salo
Impersonal constructions in Ket
Edward J. Vajda, Andrey Nefedov and Andrej L. Malchukov
Impersonal verbs in Central Alaskan Yupik (Eskimoan)
Osahito Miyaoka
Impersonals in Innu
Lynn Drapeau
A diachronic study of the impersonal passive in Ainu
Anna Bugaeva
Referential impersonal constructions in Mandarin
Yi Yan and Anna Siewierska
Impersonal constructions in some Oceanic languages
Claire Moyse-Faurie
Impersonal constructions in Umpithamu and the Lamalamic languages
Jean-Christophe Verstraete
Author index
Language index
Language index
“The book is undoubtedly a welcome and useful contribution to language typology. Impersonal constructions have not been subject to a detailed and comprehensive cross-linguistic analysis before, and this volume successfully fills this gap. The editors can be praised for having been able to establish a good balance between descriptive and theoretical studies, as well as between synchronic and diachronic perspectives. The cross-linguistic coverage of the volume is almost comprehensive, with a slight bias towards Africa and Eurasia and a regrettable lack of Papuan and South and Meso American languages. Inclusion of several papers dealing with whole language families or areas instead of individual languages, thus addressing issues of intra-genetic and areal typology, is also an example to be followed.”
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 02 may 2020. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

BIC Subject: CFK – Grammar, syntax
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2011000415