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On the subject of impersonals

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Abstract

In accordance with basic principles of Cognitive Grammar, impersonal it (e.g. <i>It&#8217;s obvious that he&#8217;s angry</i>) is claimed to be meaningful. Three avenues of approach are followed in the characterization of <i>it</i> and the constructions it appears in: a comparison with related constructions; a comparison to other pronouns; and examination of a basic cognitive model called the &#8220;control cycle&#8221;. This broad perspective leads to a unified account in which the meaning of impersonal <i>it</i> is a special case of the general semantic value of this pronoun.

References

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