Truncated Impersonal Constructions in Persian: A Cognitive Approach

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor of Linguistics, TMU



The main purpose of this paper is to study the truncated impersonal constructions in Persian within the framework of Cognitive Grammar. This type is made up of a modal and a truncated infinitive. In Cognitive Grammar it is believed that there are two kinds of modals: root modals and epistemic modals. In this study, it was shown that modals used in this kind of impersonal constructions are root modals which don’t have any specific speaker and addressee. Since the subject position in these constructions is empty, the subject is considered as setting-subject representing a generalized and ambient setting which is defocused and the prominence is assigned to the process occurred in the setting. It was also evinced that the occurrence of third person singular agreement in this construction is meaningful, it agrees with setting-subject and it gives prominence to setting as the subject; so the setting is construed as trajectory.


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Volume 8, Issue 1
June 2017
Pages 59-77
  • Receive Date: 31 May 2017
  • Revise Date: 25 June 2017
  • Accept Date: 10 August 2017
  • First Publish Date: 23 August 2017