Impersonal Sentence

Impersonal Sentence

 

a mononuclear sentence in which the principal part of the sentence (the predicate) is represented in the form of (1) an impersonal verb, as “Nachinalo smerkat’sia” (“It began to get dark”); (2) impersonal usage of a personal verb, as “Nachinalo temnet’” (“It began to get dark”); (3) a predicate adverb, as “Stanovitsia temno” (“It is getting dark”); (4) a passive participle in the short form and neuter gender, as “Ckazano—sdelano” (“No sooner said than done”); or (5) a negative word or construction expressing negation, as “Nichego nevozmozhnogo” (“Nothing is impossible”). The principal part of an impersonal sentence expresses the manifestation of processes or conditions that are either altogether independent of an active agent or are derived from the subject (the active agent or the bearer of the condition) designated by a naming word in an oblique case.

REFERENCE

Grammatika russkogo iazyka, vol. 2, part 2. Moscow, 1960.
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157): The Anatolian ergative probably did not arise via a reinterpretation of impersonal sentences like (It) burned the house with fire, but instead from a sentence like witenanza pir parkunuzi "he purifies the house with water," where the zero-subject permitted the instrumental witenanza to be reinterpreted as the subject.