Subjects under generic conditions

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The chapter discusses implied subjects creating open or generic reference inFinnish and Estonian if-clauses from a contrastive perspective. We focus on theso-called zero person constructions, passives/impersonals, and the Estonianda-infinitive which acts as a predicate of an if-clause. These construction typeslack subject; in addition they can create open or generic reference. The constructionsare closely interrelated; however, each of them has some restrictions in useand differences in interpretation. The passive in Finnish and the impersonal inEstonian if-clauses have a tendency to refer to a group, whereas the zero personand Estonian da-infinitive refer to one individual. The interpretation of impliedsubject depends on the conditional clause type, the context, and the verb formthat is used.


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