Existential construction - artificial intelligence, Computer Engineering

The English existential construction involves so-called there-sentences such as these:

(1)  There is a dog in the yard

(2)  There were no children at the party

(3)  There are three cars available

 NPs with weak quantifiers can be the subject of a there-sentence, but proper names, definite NPs, and NPs with strong quantifiers can't:

(4)  *There was John at the party

(5)  *There were the children at the party

(6)  *There are all/most cars available

Find an existential construction in a language other than English that is the equivalent of English there-sentences. Give at least two examples of the construction, and give word-by-word glosses as well as a translation for each example. Explain the syntactic structure of the construction as best as you can to someone who does not speak the language. If you are not a native speaker of the language, make sure to check the grammaticality of your examples with a native speaker.

After you have identified the existential construction in the language, try to determine whether it has the same restrictions on what can be the subject as the English there-sentences. Test at least proper names, two different strong quantifiers, and two different weak quantifiers. Summarize your results and make an explicit comparison with English.

Posted Date: 3/25/2013 1:43:23 AM | Location : United States

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