Article published in:Subjects in Constructions – Canonical and Non-Canonical
Edited by Marja-Liisa Helasvuo and Tuomas Huumo
[Constructional Approaches to Language 16] 2015
► pp. 101–139
Abstract locational subjects
Field and settings in French and English
This chapter analyzes the English and French abstract locational subjects il, ça, there, and it which refer to an ‘abstract region’ within which the entity in the complement is identified. There, it, and il describe the ‘field’, namely the conceptualizer’s scope of awareness relative to the complement content, but they operate at different levels of reality. Existential there and simple il (followed by a nominal) describe a section of basic reality, while it and complex il (followed by a clause) operate at a more analytical level of reality which includes the conceptualizer’s effort to assess or evaluate the complement content. Ça profiles the abstract setting composed of the immediate context from which the complement content is extracted for expressive purposes.
Published online: 14 January 2015
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