Hidden subjects in conversation

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The chapter deals with implicit unspecific group referents introduced by verbforms (the conditional and the impersonal) which lack person marking. Theyhave different contexts of use: the personless conditional is preferred when theaim of the conversation is to plan a future activity, while the existential impersonalis first and foremost used in narratives. The personless conditional is typicallyinclusive, incorporating one or both of the interlocutors into the group.The impersonal is typically speaker-exclusive and refers to a group that does notinclude the participants of the conversation. For the analysis, the data from theCorpus of Spoken Estonian (University of Tartu) are used.


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