Existential constructions in Isbukun Bunun

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper has two main goals. First, I demonstrate how the peculiar morphosyntactic properties of the theme NPs in Isbukun Bunun existential sentences can be derived under an expletive account. The properties under investigation include structural Case marking, the emergence of definiteness restrictions, and the resistance of theme NPs to Ā-extraction. Second, I argue for a small clause analysis of existential sentences in Isbukun Bunun. In particular, based on word orders, island effects, the comparison with possessive constructions, and the coordination facts, I argue that the existential predicate in Isbukun Bunun selects a small clause as its sole internal argument. I also discuss how the proposal developed for Isbukun Bunun might generalize to, and shed light on, the impersonal constructions in natural languages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-378
Number of pages15
JournalOceanic Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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