Kayne (2006:23)

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Kayne (2006 :23):

 Limitations on deictic there as expletive:
 In (my) colloqial English, expletive there occurs only with be.
 Although the following are possible in some register(s) of English, they are for me impossible in colloquial English.
 (140)   There exist solutions to all these problems.
 (141)   There have arrived several letters for you.
 In this respect, colloquial Eglsih is like both Italian and French, whose deictic expletive ci and y are limited to 
 existencials with be (in Italian) and have (in French) and which do not occur int he counterparts of (140) and (141). 
 In contrast, as discussed by Burzio (1986, chap.2), Piedmontese expletive clitic ye is found more widely, 
 occurring as it does with all unaccusatives. 
 Why Piedmontese should be freer in this regard tha Italian or French is not clear […]. 
 Nor is it clear why be is singled out by Italian, French and colloqial English – 
 perhaps it is that be is associated with less structure than any other verb 
 – or even that be is not really a verb […]. 


  • Kayne, R. 2006. ‘Expletives, Datives, and the Tension between Morphology and Syntax’, ms. University of New York.
  • Burzio, L. 1986. ‘’Italian Syntax. A Government-Binding Approach’’, Reidel, Dordrecht.