Download Different Kinds of Specificity Across Languages by Cornelia Ebert, Stefan Hinterwimmer PDF

By Cornelia Ebert, Stefan Hinterwimmer

This anthology of papers analyzes more than a few specificity markers present in common languages. It displays the truth that regardless of extensive examine into those markers, the substantial transformations among the markers throughout languages or even inside unmarried languages were much less stated. often appeared particular indefinites are on no account a homogenous classification, and so this quantity fills a spot in our figuring out of the semantics and pragmatics of indefinites.

The papers discover variations and similarities between those specificity markers, targeting the next matters: no matter if specificity is a merely semantic or additionally a practical notion; no matter if the contribution of specificity markers is found at the point of the at-issue content material; even if a few form of speaker-listener asymmetry about the identity of the referent is concerned; and the behavioral scope of those indefinites within the context of different quantifiers, negation, perspective verbs, and intensional/modal operators.

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Hintikka (1986, ex. 25) for some discussion of the pragmatic effect of combining English a certain with proper names, Jayez and Tovena (2002) for un certain-indefinites combined with proper names and Eguren and Sánchez (2007) for Spanish cierto in combination with proper names. 4 See Houghton (2000) for a similar observation about English certain combined with proper names. 36 C. Ebert et al. between (7a-g) and (7a-ø) in connection with (7b). While the former discourse (7a-g) + (7b) is incoherent, (7a-ø) + (7b) is perfectly okay.

Oh! Un colis bien précis! ‘Oh! ’ (46) Oh! Un colis! Et un colis BIEN PRÉCIS, en fait! ‘Oh! A package! ’ I note en passant that the same is true for pas n’importe quel N (not any N): (47) *Oh! Pas n’importe quel colis! ‘Oh! ’ (48) Oh! Un colis! Et pas N’IMPORTE QUEL colis! ‘Oh! A package! ’ To explain the problem, one has to investigate further the semantic and pragmatic properties of the exclamatives under study. 8 There are at least two types of Oh! ENSs in French. As already suggested above, the ones under study implicate that the speaker is surprised to perceive the referred entity a in the current situation Su at the utterance time tu .

41) Oh! A man with a red suit! 7 I propose to assume that from the fact that indefinites in ENSs are attributively used, we can derive that they are predicate nominals (these being attributively used by definition). In other words, a sentence like (2) can be paraphrased as follows: (2) Oh! A package! I am surprised by the presence of what I see in front of me and I am surprised that it is a package. One advantage of this hypothesis is that it can explain why un certain N or generalized quantifiers like chaque N are not acceptable in ENSs.

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