Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Notions of "Subject"
(4,562 words)

The title of this article presupposes that there is some global category of all languages called “subject” that we can talk about. Up to the early 1970s that would have been a generally common assumption, despite the fact that there was much disagreement about and no universal notion of “subject” (Platt 1971; Van Valin 1977, 1981; Foley and Van Valin 1977, 1984; Gary and Keenan 1977; Comrie 1981), though most theories assumed some conception of syntactic functions. The concept of “subject” began with Aristotle's theory of truth, but Aristotle defined subject (Greek hypokeímenon—Latin su…

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Randy LAPOLLA, “Notions of "Subject"”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 22 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000298>
First published online: 2015

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