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The elephant in the room

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Abstract

This chapter offers an overview of the little studied Polish impersonal construction which is made up of an auxiliary or copular verb in 3<sc>sg.n</sc> and a passive or resultative <i>-n-/-t-</i> participle bearing the singular neuter inflection <i>-e</i>. I describe the morphological form and syntactic behaviour of this construction, demonstrate that it is not only functionally impersonal but also syntactically subjectless, and discuss its relation to the impersonal passive of the intransitive as well as to the impersonal predicative adverbial construction. I conclude that the form of the impersonal <i>-ne/-te</i> construction is underspecified with regard to which of the two syntactic constructions (passive verbal or non-passive adverbial) it instantiates. Hence, syntactic frameworks need to provide an appropriate model for this type of underspecification. Keywords: Polish; impersonal; resultative participle; passive of intransitive; predicative adverbial construction

References

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