Chapter published in:Usage-Based Studies in Modern Hebrew: Background, Morpho-lexicon, and Syntax
Edited by Ruth A. Berman
[Studies in Language Companion Series 210] 2020
► pp. 539–582
Impersonal and pseudo-impersonal constructions
The domain of impersonal constructions is highly complex and heterogeneous in Hebrew as in other languages. It includes sentences that lack an overt constituent bearing the properties of a referential and identifiable subject or that are altogether lacking in canonical subject properties. The aim of the present chapter is to present an up-to-date classification of the major impersonal and generalized or impersonalized constructions in Modern, primarily spoken, Hebrew. To this end, the coding properties of such constructions are analyzed, based on the typological characterization of Modern Hebrew (MH) as a non-subject-oriented and non-configurational language characterized by synthetic inflectional morphology with marking of person in finite verbs, so not requiring an expletive or ‘dummy’ subject. Functional properties of impersonal and generalized constructions in MH are noted in relation to pragmatic underpinnings of their patterning and use.
Published online: 18 March 2020
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