Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6759
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9897
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This study is devoted to the grammatical, semantic and informative analysis of the so-called existential sentence (“There is a girl in the garden” in English, or Hay una niña en el jardín ‘There-is a girl in the garden’ in Spanish) in an attempt to establish a multi-linguistic prototype of the construction. To that end, data from several corpora of contemporary spoken English and Spanish are analysed in a number of ways, including the frequency of this construction in the two languages, the basic elements of its syntactic structure, and the semantic and informative constraints which operate in the existential/presentational construction. This study also deals with the degree of variation which these sentences exhibit and how this affects the selection of the marker of the construction (‘there’, hay), agreement between the marker or the verb and the postverbal noun phrase, the accommodation of additional constituents such as locative phrases or nominal postmodifiers and complements, the so-called indefiniteness restriction, and the compliance with general informative principles to which English and Spanish are claimed to be subject. A corpus-based contrastive methodology leads both to a prototypical and to a language-specific description of the existential construction in English and Spanish, in which the notion of grammatical, semantic and informative versatility plays a significant role.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): construction; English/Spanish; existential; presentational; prototype
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error