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WRUT-CELTA Workshop, September 2013 IN SEARCH OF THE COMMON GROUND BETWEEN THE DISTRIBUTED GRAMMAR MODEL AND THE

THEORY OF GROUNDING OF MODAL STATEMENTS

Impersonal Constructions, Dative and MetaInformative Structure in Ancient Greek

Jean-Christophe Pitavy ParLAnCES (CIEREC) Universit Jean-Monnet, Saint-tienne (France) membre associ de lUMR 5189 HiSoMA (Histoire et Sources des Mondes Antiques)

nothing personal

quelques distinctions some distinctions impersonal as an inappropriate term anonymous subject


impersonnel: sujet syntaxique non exprim, non identiable = sujet anonyme (H. Wodarczyk 1994)

phnomnes atmosphriques weather expressions impersonal as an inappropriate term


impersonnel: sujet syntaxique non exprim, non identiable = sujet anonyme (H. Wodarczyk 1994)

phnomnes atmosphriques weather expressions

franais il pleut, a tonne English it rains, its windy deutsch es regnet

phnomnes atmosphriques weather expressions


grec hei astrptei bront(i) nephei
[it] rains [there] is a ash of lightning (Duhoux : 1992) it thunders it snows

phnomnes atmosphriques weather expressions


No referential subject No agent

phnomnes atmosphriques weather expressions


langues sujet obligatoire
non Pro-drop languages

franais : il pleut, il vente, il fait + Adj. English: it rains, it is + Adj. (cold, hot, chilly), it is snowing deutsch: es regnet, es blitzt, es donnert, es ist + Adj. (kalt)

phnomnes atmosphriques weather expressions


langues sujet obligatoire
non Pro-drop languages

il pleut it rains
Sujet postiche Dummy subject non representative pronoun.

phnomnes atmosphriques weather expressions


vrais impersonnels pronom non restituable, non remplaable
*Elle pleut. Hey, *why are you raining the day I forgot my umbrella ? *Lui, il pleut. Il pleut, cest tout ce quil sait faire it rains, theres nothing else it can do
(lyrics from a song by Brigitte Fontaine)

phnomnes atmosphriques weather expressions


Pro-drop Languages: no overt subject pronoun
Latin *is pluit Italian *lui nevica, *lei piove Spanish *l llueve Portuguese *ele chove Polish *on pada Modern Greek *() *aft(s) vrhi

phnomnes atmosphriques weather expressions


Ancient Greek (Pro-drop) no unique overt pronoun for 3Sg deictic pronoum used for identied referent

phnomnes atmosphriques weather expressions


Emplois agrammaticaux Any verb has a subject hupokemenon agrammatical usage

phnomnes atmosphriques weather expressions


Emplois agrammaticaux agrammatical usage
. ei mn o Zes.
Alce, fr. 34 Alcaeus, fr. 34

Zeus pleut Zeuss raining Le dieu pleut pour eux comme pour les autres hommes The god is raining for them and for the rest of mankind

Hrodote, III, 117 Herodotus, III, 117 hei sphi ho thes hsper ka tosi lloisi anthrpoisi

phnomnes atmosphriques weather expressions


Langues avec sujet atmosphriques SN Languages with NP weather subjects Russian idt dod rain goes Polish pada nieg snow falls Turkish yamur yayor rain rains

verbes unipersonnels unipersonal verbs


3Sg only verbs no referential subject

verbes unipersonnels unipersonal verbs


rfrence indistincte indistinct reference

(Corblin)

French: il and a a pleut a mouille a dgringole thats tumbling down (its pouring with rain) a caille thats curdling its freezing

verbes unipersonnels unipersonal verbs


rfrence indistincte indistinct reference French: il and a a sent bon ici (*il sent bon) liter. thats smelling good here

(Corblin)

verbes unipersonnels unipersonal verbs


rfrence indistincte indistinct reference

a boume ? liter. does it go boom? = Whats up? a commence jaser thats beginning to gossip = People begin to a chahute dans le couloir thats heckling here a rone l-dedans thats snoaring in there

(Corblin)

verbes unipersonnels unipersonal verbs


rfrence indistincte indistinct reference franais tout le monde, on deutsch man, es wird (passif) English one, they 3Pl passive voice

(Corblin)

verbes unipersonnels unipersonal verbs


Pas de rfrence indistincte en grec ancien? No such indistinct reference in Ancient Greek
phs

[il] dit = il est dit [(s)he] says = it is said incises du discours direct quotatives in direct speech

passif (impersonnel) sans sujet


impersonal passive with pro-drop subject

Grec ancien: le sujet du passif est identiable


Greek : subject of such passive forms can be identied
, lgetai d Slna Peisistrtou tn phulakn aitontos, antilxai
On dit que Solon, quand Pisistrate demanda une garde, sy opposa. it is said moreover that when Peisistratus asked for the guard Solon opposed the request.
Aristote/Aristotle, Const. Ath., XIV, 2

passif (impersonnel) sans sujet


impersonal passive with pro-drop subject

Grec ancien: le sujet du passif est identiable


Greek : subject of such passive forms can be identied
homologetai mn gr tn plin hmn arkhaiottn enai
On saccorde [pour dire] que notre cit est la plus ancienne Everyone agrees that we have the oldest city.
Isocrate/Isocrates, Paneg., XXIII

passif (impersonnel) sans sujet


impersonal passive with pro-drop subject
sujet = prdicat linnitif Subject = innitive predicate dans la transformation active, devient CI local (objet) active transformation : subject becomes local CoA
, lgousin d Slna Peisistrtou tn phulakn aitontos, antilxai
Ils disent que Solon, quand Pisistrate demanda une garde, sy opposa. They say that when Peisistratus asked for the guard Solon opposed the request.

passif (impersonnel) sans sujet


impersonal passive with pro-drop subject
Rapport entre ces constructions et les structures canoniques Relationship between such impersonal constructions and canonical structures

passif (impersonnel) intransitif


intransitive impersonal passive
latin dicitur [il] est dit on dit
[it] is said they say

itur [il] est all on va

[it] is gone people [usually] go

passif (impersonnel) intransitif


intransitive impersonal passive
deutsch es wurde viel getanzt

il a t beaucoup dans on a beaucoup dans [it] has been danced a lot people/they danced a lot

es wird nicht gearbeitet werden

[il] ne sera pas travaill on ne travaillera pas it] wont be worked people wont work

passif (impersonnel) intransitif


intransitive impersonal passive
turc / Turkish bu arenada her zaman dvlmtr
Gksel & Kerslake 13.2.4

il sest toujours battu lun lautre on sest toujours battu dans cette arne
it has always been fought each other people have always fought [each other] in this arena

passif (impersonnel) intransitif


intransitive impersonal passive
turc / Turkish Deprem blgesine gidilmeye allyor
Gksel & Kerslake 24.4.1.4

il est essay dtre all dans la zone du sisme on essaie de rejoindre la zone it is being tried to be gone in the earthquake area people are trying to reach ) innitif = complment datif (-me-ye) du verbe essayer innitive = dative (-me-ye) object of verb to try

passif (impersonnel) intransitif


intransitive impersonal passive
grec ancien? Ancient Greek?

sumphrei tn trpon toton lgesthai per autn


il est utile que lon parle de cette manire de ces choses l
It is useful to talk about such things in this way

SP (per + Gn. autn) compl. du verbe passif (lgesthai) PP (per + Gn. autn) = object of passive verb (lgesthai)

passif (impersonnel) intransitif


intransitive impersonal passive

What if there is no Nominative subject NP at all and a Dative CoA?

Sujet au datif ?
Did you mean Dative subject?

construction dcentre sur le CI local (datif), pas de sujet au nominatif Decentered constructions with local Dative participant and no overt Nominative subject.

Sujet au datif ?
Did you mean Dative subject?

Constituant au datif = exprienceur Dative constituent = experiencer

Sujet au datif ?
Did you mean Dative subject?

Tradition grammaticale: sujet , thme, topique


Traditional grammar: confusion between subject, theme, topic

Sujet au datif ?
Did you mean Dative subject?

Boris a froid
Boris is cold

Langue logique: on parle du sujet (Boris), propos duquel on prdique. In allegedly logical languages, predication is operated about a subject (topic = Boris).

Sujet au datif ?
Did you mean Dative subject?

Boris a froid
Boris is cold

Donc Boris = sujet = nominatif therefore Boris = subject = nominative

Sujet au datif ?
Did you mean Dative subject?

Boris a froid
Boris is cold
In some languages, meta-informative structure = to-Boris, [it] is cold Dative subject cf. eg. Bardal, Smitherman, Bjarnadttir et al. 2012

Types de verbes (actifs) et exprienceur


(Active) verb types & experiencer

smantiquement:,verbes exprimant une exprience (disposition psychologique, relation de lesprit / de la subjectivit situation: apprciation, valuation, jugement, prise en compte, souci, permission, possibilit, avantage, prot) morphosyntaxiquement : 3Sg, pas de sujet (nominatif), complment au datif (+ autre complment au gnitif) + squence (innitif, proposition) morpholexicalement : voix active / moyenne, (pas de diathse passive) autorisant transformation active .

Types de verbes (actifs) et exprienceur


(Active) verb types & experiencer

semantically: verbs of experience (mental / subjective disposition toward a situation: assessment, judgment, care, concerne, permission, possibility, advantage) morphosyntactically : 3Sg, no overt subject (nominative), datif object (+ other Genitive local constituents) + sequence (innitive, nite verb clause) morpholexically : active / middle voice (no passive diathesis) allowing active transformation.

la recherche du sujet perdu


Raiders of the lost subject
A exible language which can slide from an impersonal construction (experiencer = Dative) to its equivalent personal construction (experiencer = Nominative). Innitive in impersonal constructions = subject?

la recherche du sujet perdu


Raiders of the lost subject
jai le droit de = Im allowed to = [m]est permis, possible de + inf. [to me] is allowed, possible to + inf.
() xesti moi

verbe tre seul : [il] [m] est to be alone: [it] is [to me]
() stin (moi)

la recherche du sujet perdu


Raiders of the lost subject

. Lakedaimonois xestin humn phlous gensthai.

(Thucydide(s) IV, 29)


[Il] est permis aux Lacdmoniens dtre vos amis.
[it] is permitted to the Lacedaemonians to be your friends

la recherche du sujet perdu


Raiders of the lost subject

tre vos amis est permis [il] est permis dtre vos amis. To be your friends is permitted it is permitted to be your friends

la recherche du sujet perdu


Raiders of the lost subject
je pense que, je dcide de = I think that, I decide to = [il] me semble [vrai, bon] [It] seems [true, good] to me doke moi + prdicat innitif / pronom rsomptif de discours + innitive predicate / discourse resumptive pronoun

la recherche du sujet perdu


Raiders of the lost subject
: [] , ; : .
Skrts : r on ka nomothtai hoi mn kall t [rga] hautn parkhontai, hoi d aiskh ? Kratlos : O moi doke toto ti.
Plato(n), Crat., 429b

Socrate : Est-ce que les lgislateurs font leur travail lun un mieux, les autres plus mal ? Cratyle : il ne me semble pas. Socrates: Do some lawgmakers produce better, and others worse works? Cratylus: I do not think so anymore.

la recherche du sujet perdu


Raiders of the lost subject
doken = personal verb meaning to seem, to be likely
xio te hma nomzontes enai ka humn dokontes
Thucydide, I, 76

[nous qui] croyons tre dignes [de cette situation] et vous donnons cette impression [we think] we are worthy [of the situation] and we seem this way to you

la recherche du sujet perdu


Raiders of the lost subject

Il semble que vous ayez russi mintriguer.

*[le fait] que vous ayez russi semble.

It seems that you succeeded in puzzling me.

*That you succeeded seems.

la recherche du sujet perdu


Raiders of the lost subject
mlei moi + Gen. [il] me *soucie de
[it] *cares to me about


moi d tn mn khrmtn ka latton mlei Plato(n), Theag., 121d je ne me soucie aucunement des dpenses I do not mind so much about the fees

la recherche du sujet perdu


Raiders of the lost subject
mlei moi + Gen. [il] me *soucie de
[it] *cares to me about


thusai d ka heorta ka khoro psin mlousin di bou

Plato(n), Leg., 835e toute la vie, tout le monde se proccupe des sacrices, des ftes et des danses
the chief occupation of everyone all through life consists in sacrices, feasts and dances

Personnalisation
Personalization
[il] est + adj. + que / [it] is + Adj. + that phanern, dlon manifeste, vident / clear, self-evident


t n d Krou dlon hti hots khei prs hms hsper t hmtera prs ekenon

(Xenopho(n), Anab., I, 3, 9)
Il est clair que Cyrus a exactement avec nous les mmes relations que nous avec lui. it is clear that the relation of Cyrus to us is precisely the same as ours to him

Personnalisation
Personalization
[il] est + adj. + que + P / [it] is + Adj. + that + P phanern, dlon manifeste, vident / clear, self-evident

phanern n hti ho Agslaos mlista tos nmois latren

(Xnopho(n), Agesil.,VII)
il tait manifeste quAgsilas tait le meilleur serviteur des lois. Agesilas was clearly a devoted servant of the laws.

Personnalisation
Personalization
[il] est + adj. + que / [it] is + Adj. + that phanern, dlon manifeste, vident / clear, self-evident

ho Agslaos phaners n mlista tos nmois latren

(Xnopho(n), Agesil.,VII)
littr. Agsilas tait manifeste le meilleur serviteur des lois. liter. Agesilas was clear a devoted servant of the laws.

Structure mta-informative
Meta-informative structure
(/) doke (moi/soi) [il] (me/te) semble [it] seems (to me/you) omai / oei (je) pense / (tu) penses (I/you) think

Structure mta-informative
Meta-informative structure

hs eg omai hs s oei

hs emo doke hs so doke

Concluding remarks

Dative constituent subject (global CoA) = local ; the constructions presented here are not always strictly impersonal : they are specialized both semantically (experience: affect, judgment, assessment, modalization) and morphosyntactically (discourse content expressed by innitive predicate specic subject) ; syntax : most of them diachronically result from an inversion of the specic subject (= doubled subject with unipersonal verbs in French, English, German) Greek as exible language : diathesis modication, metainformative structure maintained for the same CoA, be it subject (nominative : ego) or object (Dative: emoi).