Abstract

This article proposes that at least two agent-backgrounding operations with different syntactic and semantic properties have to be distinguished in Catalan Sign Language (LSC): the high-locus construction and the nonagreeing central construction. We show that the high-locus construction is a transitive structure with a nonspecific subject. We propose to analyze this construction as involving a null pro-subject, licensed by agreement and interpreted as an impersonal third plural, as in other agent-backgrounding constructions with an impersonal third plural subject, which are crosslinguistically restricted to human interpretation. We propose that the nonagreeing construction is an intransitivized verb form that allows passive interpretations with agents and causes and anticausative interpretations comparable to middle voice.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 767-798
Launched on MUSE
2017-12-21
Open Access
No
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