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Dernière modification : 19 janvier 2017

Existential Constructions in Typological Perspective

International Workshop


Existential Constructions in Typological Perspective
Crédits : Pôle communication de l’ENS


18-19 November 2016
École normale supérieure, Paris



  • Anne Carlier (Université de Lille 3, STL)
  • Laure Sarda (CNRS-ENS, Lattice)



Possible research questions that could be explored with respect to different languages :

  • Is there one grammaticalized existential construction or are there several competing (semi)grammaticalized existential constructions ? In the latter case, how do these constructions differ with respect to their conditions of use ?

  • What structural properties do existential constructions have in different languages ? There seem to be two major models : existential-locative predications containing the verb ‘be’ and existential-possessive predications containing the verb ‘have’, where the possessor is reanalysed as a location. However, could other semantic fields, such as perception, play a role in existential predication as well ?

  • How does the grammaticalized existential construction interact with information structure ?

  • Is there a correlation between the typological properties of a language and the structural and pragmatic properties of its grammaticalized existential construction ?

  • Are there structural or semantic differences between positive and negative existential constructions ?


  • Free admission subject to availability

    ENS, 45 rue d’Ulm, 75005
    Friday 18 November : salle des Actes
     Saturday 19 November : salle Dussane

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