L’attribut et la construction impersonnelle en français

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In the binary construction “Subject-Predicate (= Copula-Complement)”: Luc est gai, Subject is presupposed for Complement, while it is not indispensable in impersonal complement constructions. Sembler requires always a complement: *Que Luc chante semble – Il semble que Luc chante, where que Luc chante is a complement. Paraître is intransitive in Un livre paraîtra and has a complement in Il paraît que Luc chante. Être, meaning “to exist”, is exceptional and in Luc est à Paris, the locative is necessary. In cleft sentences, the complement is emphasized: C’est là que Luc habite. The impersonal construction offers a non-binary frame where the complement can function without a syntactic nor semantic subject: Il est tard, Il en est autrement de lui.


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