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Non-referential readings of null subjects in Hungarian

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Abstract

This paper analyses the possibility of arbitrarily interpreted null subjects in Hungarian with 3PL agreement on the finite and infinitival verb. With the help of numerous types of empirical data, the possible interpretations of arbitrary null subjects are examined and characterized. It is shown that syntactic, semantic, lexical and pragmatic factors interact to determine the available readings. It is proposed that non-referential null subjects should be considered as indefinites contributing a variable to the logical interpretation of the sentence. The problem of default and dummy verbal agreement in constructions with non-referentially interpreted null subjects is also discussed. Finally, the cross-linguistic distribution and typology of non-referential null subjects is discussed and further refined.

References

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