Existentials as impersonalising devices: the case of European Portuguese

Susana Afonso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Existentials have been associated with the functions of asserting existence of an entity, setting a scene, presentation of new discourse entities, as well as listing. They are structures whose meaning is connected to discourse. Although the construction has been widely studied, some of the functions it performs, such as the impersonalising function have remained largely unexplored. This paper takes impersonalisation as a functional concept, in the sense of agent removal from a scene, shows how existentials in European Portuguese are also impersonal constructions, and describes them within the framework of construction grammar.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-215
Number of pages36
JournalTransactions of the Philological Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


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