Volume 23, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0929-998X
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9765
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This article deals with impersonal clauses in Chinese (ICiCs) (e.g. 台上唱着戏). These are called pseudo-existentials in the literature, as they resemble typical existentials both in form and in meaning. I argue that ICiCs are impersonal, ergatively oriented, and existential. They are impersonal in that the actor of the process is typically demoted to the end position or completely omitted; ergatively oriented in that they express the meaning of instead of , and existential in that they present the existence of events with reference to some location realized by the initial locative nominal group. These three semantic aspects are in tune with each other and are realized by the structure NGL ^ VG ^ NG, in which VG ^ NG constitutes the event, whose existence is expressed through its configuration with the initial NGL.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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