In this paper we examine the syntactic and semantic properties of Italian locative there-sentences. We present an analysis according to which they represent instantiations of a structure in which there be is a predicate derived by syntactic incorporation of ci with essere (esserci). The predicate esserci takes two arguments, a Theme and a Location. The hypothesis that esserci has a predicative function (Moro 1997) – instead of a copular one, as proposed under alternative theoretical approaches – is grounded on our empirical observation that esserci displays variation in meaning in the different contexts of use, a property that only predicates, and not copulas, may have. After considering existing analyses, we perform a thorough corpus investigation to support our hypothesis, we identify and classify the relevant variation, and we put forth a classification of locative there-sentences based on the semantics of the arguments, i.e. whether they denote a concrete or an abstract entity. From a theoretical point of view, we propose that the observed meaning variation of the predicate esserci in locative there-sentences is derived by application of the principle of semantic co-composition (Pustejovsky 2012).

The Syntax and Semantics of Locative there-Sentences in Italian

Jezek E.
;
2021

Abstract

In this paper we examine the syntactic and semantic properties of Italian locative there-sentences. We present an analysis according to which they represent instantiations of a structure in which there be is a predicate derived by syntactic incorporation of ci with essere (esserci). The predicate esserci takes two arguments, a Theme and a Location. The hypothesis that esserci has a predicative function (Moro 1997) – instead of a copular one, as proposed under alternative theoretical approaches – is grounded on our empirical observation that esserci displays variation in meaning in the different contexts of use, a property that only predicates, and not copulas, may have. After considering existing analyses, we perform a thorough corpus investigation to support our hypothesis, we identify and classify the relevant variation, and we put forth a classification of locative there-sentences based on the semantics of the arguments, i.e. whether they denote a concrete or an abstract entity. From a theoretical point of view, we propose that the observed meaning variation of the predicate esserci in locative there-sentences is derived by application of the principle of semantic co-composition (Pustejovsky 2012).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/1449814
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