ON FUNCTIONS OF THE PRESENTATIVE DEMONSTRATIVE "TO" IN CROATIAN IMPERSONAL CONSTRUCTIONS

Author:
Branimir Belaj, Goran Tanacković Faletar
Email:
branimir.belaj@os.t-com.hr; gtanackovic@ffos.hr
Summary
When we talk about the grammatical category of impersonality in the methodological framework of cognitive grammar, the verbs which designate different meteorological phenomena represent a very interesting category, which provides a good basis for establishing some fine-grained semantic and syntactic subcategories. Belaj (2007) describes a conceptual-semantic value of different syntactic realisations of meteorological verbs such as kišiti (to rain), sniježiti (to snow), grmjeti (to thunder), etc. Their semantic field is defined as conceptually not easily available, non-distinctive and hardly definable field with strongly topicalized pure processuality which absorbs its actants. In this paper, using the same methodological framework, the authors examine a conceptualsemantic and pragmatic contribution of the initial presentative demonstrative to, which can sometimes be inserted in such constructions to profile the setting of processes designated by the verbs of that type in order to describe its syntactic status. In such cases, the presentative demonstrative to profiles a highly abstract, but, in the concrete context in which the utterance is created, clearly concretized setting with which the conceptualization of such processes is always tightly connected. That concretization, i.e. groundedness, is clearly designated by a medial, i.e. the degree of deixis which signals previous knowledge and conceptual availability of such designated setting, both to the speaker and the hearer. Since the argument structure of meteorological verbs lacks good candidates for taking over the function of clausal subject, this paper examines the extent to which the constructions with the presentative demonstrative to are analogous to the constructions described as setting-subject constructions in the framework of cognitive grammar, with the setting profiled as the clausal figure instead of some element of the argument structure.
Key words
subject; setting; presentative demonstrative; deixis; personal constructions; impersonal constructions
Visits:
447
Downloads:
13
 
 
 
Visits: 22276