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TYPOLING - Bulletin d’information n°146

- Les projets de la Fédération TUL " Structure Argumentale et Structure Aspectuelle" Langues avec Articles – Langues sans Articles et UMR 7023 Structures Formelles du Langage – Équipe Architecture Grammaticale ont le plaisir de vous inviter à un exposé de

Patricia Cabrebo Hofherr (UMR 7023 Structures Formelles du Langage)
« Il pleut / Ca pleut : demonstratives with impersonal predicates »

Date : le 10 octobre 2011 Heure : 10h30 – 12h30 Lieu : Université de Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint Denis, salle D143 Plan d’accès :,672.html


Some languages but not others allow the alternation of the unmarked weather pronoun with a second pronoun belonging to the demonstrative paradigm
(1) fr : il / ça pleut
(2) all : es /das regnet
(3) angl : it /*that rains

The emphatic alternation between expletive and weak deictic subject is also attested for other constructions such as smell- and sound-emission verbs, situational adjectives and other predicates. In this talk, I will address two questions

1. - Do the impersonal constructions that allow alternations form a natural class ? 2. - How can cross-linguistic variation with respect to this alternation be explained ?

On the basis of comparative Germanic data, I will argue that several types of impersonal constructions have to be distinguished. I will also argue that the variation concerning the alternation with weather verbs can be traced back to a difference in feature content between the deictic pronouns in French, German and English.