On the subject of subject in Finnish

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This article examines the category of subject in Finnish. Among the grammaticalfeatures examined are case marking, agreement and syntax, semantic role,its relation to other sentence elements and its semantic function as regards thesentence as a whole. One important discourse feature is whether the subjectintroduces a referent and whether that referent is mentioned again later in thediscourse. We discuss different construction types and examine whether thealleged subjects fulfil the role of the subject as defined in cognitive grammar,i.e. which function as a clause-level trajector and as a starting point for theconstrual of the relationship and its participants. More generally, it is arguedthat the trajector does not necessarily constitute the subject of the clause-levelconstruction. The function of an e-NP (existential NP) is proposed for suchelements instead.


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