188.8.131.52 Unaccusatives and ergatives
The observation that the post-verbal DP is limited to indefinites has led to the claim that neither nominative nor accusative Case is assigned to this position, but a special Case which can only be born by indefinite DPs. Belletti (1988) proposed that partitive Case is incompatible with definite DPs for semantic reasons and therefore only indefinites can bear it. Thus if we assume that partitive Case is assigned to the post-verbal position in there constructions, we can account for why only indefinite DPs can appear in this position. The problem with this is that under these assumptions it is not entirely clear why we have a there expletive and not an it. It would seem then that the key to the proper analysis of this construction is the link between the there subject and the Case marked indefinite DP in the post-verbal position.