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Constituent Order In Existential Clauses

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with one specific type of existential clauses, namely, existential clauses containing a noun phrase (NP) and a prepositional phrase (PP). In particular, the issue of the relative order of the different constituents of such clauses is addressed. As is well-known from Biblical Hebrew, and as Martin Baasten, and before him Carmignac have remarked for Qumran Hebrew, the prepositional phrase and noun phrase may occur in either order. In certain cases, the prepositional phrase or the noun phrase may even precede the predicator of existence. All of the studies mentioned in the chapter argues that variation in constituent order is often functionally relevant, which justifies the question whether also the opposing orders in existential clauses would have different functions.

Keywords: constituent orders; existential clauses; Martin Baasten; Qumran Hebrew

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