Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4169
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9927
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The article proposes a unified analysis of Behavior Evaluation Adjectives (BEA), like gentil ‘kind’ or prudent ‘wise’, whether the quality expressed is attributed to a human subject (Tu es vraiment gentil de nous aider ‘You are really kind to help us’) or to his/her behavior (Nous aider est vraiment gentil de ta part ‘To help us is really kind of you’). We argue that these two structures should be viewed as diathetic variants of one another, the structure with the clausal subject being the passive equivalent of the active construction with a human subject. BEAs function as part of an active complex predicate être ‘be’+A, which takes an external “agent” argument expressed by an NP+human and a direct internal argument, infinitive clause. Thus, BEAs function in all their usages as secondary predicates of “Individual level” type, providing the evaluation of a human subject as an agent.


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