This volume offers a much needed typological perspective on impersonal constructions, which are here viewed broadly as constructions lacking a referential subject. The contributions to this volume deal with all types of impersonality, namely constructions featuring nonagentive subjects, including those with experiential predicates (A-impersonals), presentational constructions with a notional subject deficient in topicality (T-impersonals), and constructions with a notional subject lacking in referential properties (R-impersonals), i.e. both meteo-constructions and man-constructions. The typological discussion benefits from a good coverage of impersonality in European languages, but also includes considerations of several African, American, South-East Asian, Australian, and Oceanic languages. The variation in the cross-linguistic realization of impersonality and the diachronic pathways leading to and from impersonality documented in this volume point to a novel perspective on impersonals as transitional structures or an intermediate stage of a more basic diachronic change be it from transitive to intransitive, or from active to passive, or participant-to event-centered construction.
1. List of contributors; 2. Introduction (by Malchukov, Andrej); 3. Part I. Impersonal constructions: Typological and theoretical aspects; 4. Towards a typology of impersonal constructions: A semantic map approach (by Malchukov, Andrej); 5. Overlap and complementarity in reference impersonals: Man-constructions vs. third person plural-impersonals in the languages of Europe (by Siewierska, Anna); 6. Verbs of motion: Impersonal passivization between unaccusativity and unergativity (by Abraham, Werner); 7. On the distribution of subject properties in formulaic presentationals of Germanic and Romance: A diachronic-typological approach (by Gast, Volker); 8. Part II. Impersonal constructions: Diachronic studies; 9. Impersonal constructions and accusative subjects in Late Latin (by Cennamo, Michela); 10. From passive to impersonal: A case study from Italian and its implications (by Giacalone Ramat, Anna); 11. Passive to anticausative through impersonalization: The case of Vedic and Indo-European (by Kulikov, Leonid); 12. Part III. Cross-linguistic variation in Impersonal constructions: Case studies; 13. The Maa (Eastern Nilotic) Impersonal construction (by Payne, Doris L.); 14. Impersonal constructions in Joola-Banjal (by Bassene, Alain Christian); 15. Impersonal configurations and theticity: The case of meteorological predications in Afroasiatic (by Mettouchi, Amina); 16. Revisiting impersonal constructions in Modern Hebrew: Discourse-based perspectives (by Berman, Ruth A.); 17. The elephant in the room: The impersonal -ne/-te construction in Polish (by Kibort, Anna); 18. Meteorological verbs in Uralic languages - are there any impersonal structures to be found (by Salo, Merja); 19. Impersonal constructions in Ket (by Vajda, Edward J.); 20. Impersonal verbs in Central Alaskan Yupik (Eskimoan) (by Miyaoka, Osahito); 21. Impersonals in Innu (by Drapeau, Lynn); 22. A diachronic study of the impersonal passive in Ainu (by Bugaeva, Anna); 23. Referential impersonal constructions in Mandarin (by Yan, Yi); 24. Impersonal constructions in some Oceanic languages (by Moyse-Faurie, Claire); 25. Impersonal constructions in Umpithamu and the Lamalamic languages (by Verstraete, Jean-Christophe); 26. Author index; 27. Language index; 28. Language index