The verb "am" used as a copula in the sentence "I am a man" is not used as an absolute existential, but in the sentence here, does it not connote the existence of the speaker, and in that case is it not also an existential verb?

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    It's not used as a copula, unless by "copula" you mean "auxiliary be". It is not existential (absolute or relative) in any semantic sense. But if it is spoken aloud by a human speaker, then it verifies the existence of that speaker, as does any other noise or other evidence of their existence. There's nothing in the sentence I am a man that must connote any particular message; what if the speaker is lying, for instance? English grammar doesn't deal with these issues; this is philosophy, not linguistics.
    – jlawler
    Apr 26 at 19:58
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    "Am" used in the sentence "I am a man" is a copula. "Am" used in "I am sawing wood" is an auxiliary. And if you hear and see the speaker as he utters that sentence, he will not likely be lying about his declaration of being a man. As to the reason for his declaration, there may well have been a plausible scenario that provoked the content of his sentence "I am a man." But besides the use of "am" in a self-identification declaration, is it not also prima facie a declaration of existence? If a male body opens its eyes and from its mouth comes that sentence, we can say, 'He's alive.'
    – user32435
    Apr 27 at 23:49
  • Good grammar (syntax) is coherent (logical), idiomatic expressions notwithstanding. As to the statement that linguistics is not the purview of a philosopher, history exposes the falsity of that assertion. Witness the writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gottlob Frege, Noam Chomsky.
    – user32435
    Apr 28 at 0:11

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