The world is raining

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The peculiar semantic properties of meteorological predicates have linguisticconsequences. Some of these consequences concern their subjects, which do notbehave like prototypical subjects do. Meteorological predicates often lack a subject,and in the languages where they do have subjects they are non-referential,non-topical, indefinite, inanimate or non-agentive entities. They are typicallyeither expletive elements or lexical elements referring to the spatial, temporalor atmospheric background, i.e. elements which would otherwise have beenencoded as adverbial phrases. Although the nominative – or some other kind ofzero marking – and default agreement marking (3rd person, singular number,neuter gender) are typical of these subjects, the study argues that they displayspecial behavior which distinguishes them from canonical cases.


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