Towards a Dynamic Account of BE in English

Ronnie Cann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of the there be construction in English in which these words are taken to project a radically underspecified prepositional structure which is updated by postcopular material. The analysis takes as its point of departure the hypothesis that the copular verb itself projects a semantically underspecified one-place predicate and shows how this hypothesis can be used to provide straightforward analyses of elliptical, predicative and existential focus constructions involving be , using the framework of Dynamic Syntax. It is argued that different interpretations of there be constructions depends on the interaction of pragmatic and syntactic processes mediated by the properties of the expressions with which the string is collocated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExistence: Semantics and Syntax
EditorsIleana Comorovski, Klaus Heusinger, Lisa Matthewson, Yael Sharvit, Thomas Ede Zimmerman
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Pages13-48
Number of pages36
Volume84
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameStudies in Linguistics and Philosophy
PublisherSpringer Netherlands

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