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What is an existential clause?

 

Definition
 

An existential clause is a clause, having a distinctive grammatical structure, which expresses the real or imagined existence of an entity.

Discussion
 

An existential clause often introduces an entity into a discourse.

Example (English)
 
  • The clause construction “there + verb [typically be] + noun phrase” forms an existential clause, as in:

  • There was a man.
  • Generic
      An existential clause is a kind of
     
    Sources
     

    Crystal 1985 114

     

    Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik 1985 1402, 1408


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