Subjects in Constructions – Canonical and Non-Canonical

ORCID logoMarja-Liisa Helasvuo | University of Turku
ORCID logoTuomas Huumo | University of Turku
ISBN 9789027204387 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027269188 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
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This volume analyzes constructions with non-canonical subjects in individual languages and cross-linguistically, drawing on insights from cognitive and discourse-functional linguistics. Prototypical subjects have often been characterized in terms of their semantic, syntactic and discourse features, such as animacy, agentivity, topicality, referentiality, definiteness and autonomy of existence of the subject referent. A non-canonical subject is one that lacks some of these features. This may be reflected in its meaning, grammatical coding, and/or discourse function. In discussing non-canonical subjects in individual languages and cross-linguistically, the chapters in the volume address the following more general topics: What kinds of grammatical, semantic and discourse criteria can be used to distinguish subjects from non-subjects? To what extent are subject criteria construction-specific? What kinds of constructions have non-canonical subjects? What are the semantic and discourse functions of constructions with non-canonical subjects? Are subjects which are grammatically non-canonical also atypical in terms of their discourse features?
[Constructional Approaches to Language, 16] 2015.  viii, 324 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“The contributions to the volume under review, even when offering an analysis of Finnish or Estonian data, are of broader interest and can be read with profit by anyone concerned with general questions of grammatical relations and the different angles under which they can be approached. It should be noted, however, that several authors take the notion of subjecthood rather broadly, extending it to agent phrases, defocused referents in agent-backgrounding constructions etc. The different perspectives taken by the authors will certainly inspire further research into a domain that has much to gain from a constructional approach. The contents of the volume fully justify its title, as they illustrate the benefits of studying subjects in constructions, in the various meanings in which this formulation may be understood.”
Cited by

Cited by 1 other publications

Barðdal, Jóhanna
2018. Chapter 1. Introduction. In Non-Canonically Case-Marked Subjects [Studies in Language Companion Series, 200],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo

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Main BIC Subject

CFK: Grammar, syntax

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2014035633 | Marc record