© 2007

Existence: Semantics and Syntax

  • Ileana Comorovski
  • Klaus von Heusinger


  • Considers the three main aspects of the linguistic expression of existence: copular clauses, existential sentences, and (in)definiteness

  • Offers a crosslinguistic perspective on the linguistic expression of existence

  • Presents a richness of new data

  • Uses state-of-the-art theoretical approaches

  • Analyzes the interaction between the basic notion of existence and pervasive phenomena of natural languages, such as quantification and presupposition


Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 84)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. The Interpretation Of The Copula

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Claudia Maienborn
      Pages 107-130
  3. Existential Sentences Across Languages

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 131-131
    2. Barbara H. Partee, Vladimir Borschev
      Pages 147-190
  4. Existence And The Interpretation Of Noun Phrases

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 221-221
    2. Bart Geurts
      Pages 253-271
    3. Klaus von Heusinger
      Pages 273-292
    4. Roberto Zamparelli
      Pages 293-328
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 329-332

About this book


This collection is an important contribution to the semantic and syntactic analysis of the expression of existence. The volume focuses on the three main linguistic constructions expressing existence: copular clauses, existential sentences, and (in)definiteness. The papers analyze the interaction between the basic notion of existence and pervasive phenomena of natural language, such as quantification and presupposition. The contributions represent state of the art research on theoretical and comparative issues related to the expression of existence, and make extensive reference to the semantic and syntactic facts of English and of various other languages. The richness of new data and the juxtaposition of different theoretical stances bring a number of new questions into focus.


English Index Modus Negation Syntax comparative genitive interaction language noun phrases quantifiers semantic semantics singular syntactic

Editors and affiliations

  • Ileana Comorovski
    • 1
  • Klaus von Heusinger
    • 2
  1. 1.Université Nancy 2/CNRSNancyFrance
  2. 2.Universität StuttgartStuttgartGermany

Bibliographic information


From the reviews: "...the volume presents a number of novel, thought-provoking proposals and makes for worthwhile reading." (Itamar Francez and Louise McNally, The Journal of Linguistics, volume 46, 2010)