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There did not appear to be any sign that they were willing to compromise.

Is There the existential one in the sentence above?

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Yes

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tkacka15

There did not appear to be any sign that they were willing to compromise. Is There the existential one in the sentence above?

No, it's not an existential clause, but a presentational construction.

Superficially, the presence of "there" appears to indicate that it's an existential. But it's not; there's a difference: Like existentials, presentationals also have dummy "there" as subject, but while existentials have the verb "be" as predicator, presentationals have some verb other than "be". Compare:


There was no sign that they were willing to compromise. [existential]

There did not appear to be any sign that they were willing to compromise. [presentational]


Verbs other than "appear" also occur in the presentational construction, such as "remain" and "seem" and a few others:

There remain only two further problems to resolve.

There seems little doubt that the fire was started deliberately.

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Comments  

Thank you for the reply.

 BillJ's reply was promoted to an answer.
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Hi Billj

Could you tell me what the term "presentational" mean?

vsureshCould you tell me what the term "presentational" mean?

Unlike existentials, presentationals are not concerned with the existence of something. Rather, they present some other kind of event or situation into the discourse. Compare:

Behind him there was a bodyguard. [existential]

Behind him there stood a bodyguard. [presentational]

At the edge of the cave there was a terrifying grizzly bear. [existential]

At the edge of the cave there appeared a terrifying grizzly bear. [presentational]

I understand. Thank you, Billj.

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