Existential Verb and Transitive Possession Verb (Feature 78)
By existential verb we refer to the element corresponding to English there is in existential clauses like There is food on the table. This feature asks whether the existential verb is identical to the transitive verb of possession ‘have’ (cf. value 1 of Feature 77). If your language lacks a transitive verb of possession, choose value 5. Similarly, if your language lacks an existential verb, choose value 5. (The existential verb may of course just be the ordinary copula verb.) See APiCS Glossary ("Identity and differentiation") for a visual representation of the following values:
1/2.The existential verb may be identical to the transitive possession verb (’have’) (value 1), or it may be a different lexical item (value 2).
3/4. If there are two verbs, and one of them means ‘there is’ and the other ‘there is’ and ‘have’, or one of them means ‘have’ and the other has both meanings, there is overlap (value 3). If there are three verbs, and one means only ‘have’, one means only ‘there is’, and one means ‘there is’ and ‘have’, we have identity and differentiation (value 4).
Note that we do not count transitive constructions such as “The table has food on it” as existential constructions -- these are regarded as transitive possession constructions, even though the subject is inanimate and they have roughly the same meaning as “There is food on the table”.
|1||Identity|| Haitian gen ‘have; exist’: |
Mari gen kouraj
‘Mary has courage’,
Gen manje sou tab la
‘There is food on the table’;
Nigerian Pidgin get; Cape Verdean ten
|2||Differentiation||English have vs. there is|
|3||Overlap||Réunion Creole ana ‘have; there is’ vs. ganye ‘have’ (in non-present tenses)|
|4||Identity and differentiation|
|5||The language has no transitive possession verb, or no existential verb||Russian (no transitive possession verb)|
(Only related topic)