Linguistik online 13, 1/03

Es war einmal ein Subjekt

Elke Hentschel (Bern)



This article deals with the occurrence of es in the subject position in German. It explores the functions of es as the subject of impersonal verbs, impersonal copula constructions and impersonal passive constructions.
Explanations are offered to its obligatory and facultative functions in different construction types. The final part of the paper explores through a pilot study the acceptability of es as an expletive element in sentences with two predicates and one subject. Two rules are given to explain the findings.


full text