64 Expletive subject of existential verb

This feature is described more fully in chapter 64.


By existential verb, we refer to the element corresponding to English there is in existential clauses like There is food on the table. An expletive subject is any element (word or affix) occurring with the existential verb that occupies the structural position of the subject but has no reference of its own. Typical examples are French il in il y a, German es in es gibt, English there in there is, or Nigerian Pidgin ì in ì get ‘there is’.


Martin Haspelmath and the APiCS Consortium


An expletive subject is used101727
An expletive subject is not used481765

Language Value Lexifier Details Source
Id Primary text Analyzed text Gloss Translation Type Language Audio Details