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Existential Clauses

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Chapter Summary

Clauses containing ܬ ܐ can be classified according to a number of formal, semantic and functional criteria. The function of clauses with unsuffixed ܬ ܐ is to indicate that something that is new in the context exists. Important distinctions for making such a classification are those between existential and copulaic (Nöldeke), between existential and locative (Muraoka), and between absolute and situated existence (Goldenberg). In the discussion of ܬ ܐ clauses indicating absolute existence and those indicating situated existence one could observe a number of phenomena. The author compares ܬ ܐ clause with other patterns indicating situated existence. There is a strong tendency to use ܬ ܐ, but bipartite NCs also occur fairly often and cannot be considered mere exceptions to the rule. In this respect Syr represents an early phase of Classical Syriac. Locative ܬ ܐ clauses and copulaic ܬ ܐ clauses are rare.

Keywords: absolute existence; copulaic clauses; existential clauses; locative clauses; situated existence; structural patterns

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