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The new impersonal as a true passive

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Abstract

This paper discusses a new impersonal construction in Icelandic. This construction has passive morphology but differs from canonical passives of transitive verbs in that the DP complement of the passive participle stays in situ and displays object properties. Contra Maling & Sigurjónsdóttir (2002), I argue that this is a true passive, not an active construction with a thematic null subject. As illustrated in the paper, there are some clear similarities between canonical passives and new impersonals that support a passive analysis of the latter construction but no clear differences to justify an active analysis.

References

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