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
Chapter 15Impersonal 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.
- 2.Relevant properties of MH
- 3.Hebrew empty-subject constructions
- 4.Classes of impersonals in MH
- 4.1Uncontrolled events: Meteorological and environmental assertions
- 4.2Constructions of existence and possession
- 4.3Internal impersonals in modal and evaluative function
- 4.4Experiential impersonals
- 4.5Impersonal passives
- 4.63rd person plural subjectless impersonals
- 4.7Impersonals with overt pronouns
- 4.7.1Impersonals with 1st person plural subjects
- 4.7.22nd person singular impersonal pronouns
- 4.8Impersonals with generic noun subjects
- 5.Concluding remarks
Published online: 18 March 2020
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Cited by 2 other publications
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