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Conference Information

Full Title: Existential Predication in Natural Languages: Values - Operations, Structures - Modalities

Location: Paris, France
Start Date: 10-Apr-2015 - 11-Apr-2015
Contact: Alexandru Mardale
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: Semantic relations observed in what are commonly known as existential constructions and the operations by which they are established have common features in many languages of the world, but beside these similarities there are also important formal variations. The notion of an existential sentence, introduced into linguistic terminology by Jespersen (1924), cannot be reduced to the idea of asserting or denying the existence of an entity in the philosophical sense.

In this symposium, we propose as a starting point for the study of existential constructions two approaches to the definition of existential predication:

- Existential predication can be viewed as a specific operation of locating one term (locatum, fr. repéré/figure) relative to another (locator, fr. repère/ground, expressed by means of a non-canonical marking of constituents and/or a non-canonical constituent order within the utterance, and/or by using a particular existential marker,

- From the viewpoint of construction of meaning, existential predication can be characterized by the fact that it is not the locatum (figure) but the locator (ground) that is chosen as perspectival center from which the situation to be described is cognitively structured.

Registration fee: 90 euros (30 euros for students)

Selected References:

Babby L., 1980, Existential sentences and negation in Russian, Ann Arbor, Caroma publishers.
Chvany C., 1975, On the syntax of BE-sentences in Russian, Cambridge, MA, Slavica.
Clark E. V., 1978, 'Locationals: existential, locative and possessive construction', in Greenberg, J. (ed.), Universals in Human Language, Vol. 4: Syntax, Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press, p. 85-126.
Creissels D., 2013, 'Existential predication in typological perspective', proc. of 46th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Workshop Space, Time and Existence: Typological, cognitive and philosophical viewpoints, Split, Croatia, 18-21 September 2013, electronical version:
Huumo T., 2003, 'Incremental Existence: The World According to the Finnish Existential Sentence', Linguistics 41(3), p. 461-493.
Freeze R., 1992, 'Existentials and other locatives', Language 68(3), p. 553-592.
Melhig H. R., 2004, 'Oppozicija 'est' vs nulevaja forma' v russkix bytijnyx predloženijax pri sootnesennosti k konkretno-predmetnym referentam', in Sokrovennye smysly. Slovo. Tekst. Kultura., Recueil d'articles en l'honneur de N. D. Arutjunova, Мoscou, Jazyki slavjanskoj kul'tury, p. 437-451.
Partee, B. & Borschev, V., 2004, 'The Semantics of Russian Genitive of Negation: The Nature and Role of Perspectival Structure', in K. Watanabe & R. B. Young, (éds), Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 14, Ithaca NY: CLC Publications, p. 212-234.
Rouveret A., 1998, 'Points de vue sur le verbe être', in A. Rouveret (éd.), Être et avoir : syntaxe, sémantique, typologie, Saint Denis, Presses Universitaires de Vincennes, p. 11-65.
Van de Velde D., 2005, 'Les interprétations partitive et existentielle des indéfinis dans les phrases existentielles locatives', Travaux de linguistique no 50, p. 37-52.
Weiss D., 1993, 'Die Faszination der Leere. Die moderne russische Umgangssprache und ihre Liebe zur Null', Zeitschrift für Slav ische Philologie LIII, p. 48-82.
LL Issue: 25.2142

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