Non-concord in existential there be sentences
M.A. Sandra Palacios Palacios

This investigation consists of a syntactic analysis on the frequency of cnon-concord in existential there be sentences of spoken registers. It examines concord and non-concord by considering number agreement with the notional subject in Existential There Be Constructions (ETBs).The main claim is that contraction of the copula is correlated with non-concord. Thus, these types of sentences are analyzed with singular and plural notional subjects to determine the constituents that favor concord and non-concord. Samples sentences like; “There’s several reasons…” in a university lecture; “there’s going to be storms tonight,” in the weather channel; and “there’s people…” in the CNN news, motivated this research. Studies of ETBs have found variation in the rule for number agreement. The traditional grammatical rule indicates that ETBs take their form from the notional subject. This agreement pattern is called concord. Plural notional subjects normally take plural verbs and singular notional subjects take singular verbs. Recent studies claim that there is a strong tendency in conversation to use a singular verb regardless of the number of the notional subject [of ETBS]. Other studies indicate that non-concord is found primarily in spoken language and it occurs more frequently when the verb is contracted. As stated, my objective is to investigate variables that motivate non-concord in ETBs. I analyze the role of the syntactic constituents of ETB sentences and find the possible correlations with non-concord. In addition, I determine the role of age and gender in concord variation of ETBs.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v3n2a8