The Semantics of Determiners by Johan Van Der Auwera (ed.)

By Johan Van Der Auwera (ed.)

This ebook is a set of linguistic and philosophical papers facing the semantic difficulties of determiners. The language below research is generally English, even though a couple of papers take care of French and German, and, to a lesser volume, with Dutch, Polish, Russian and Hebrew. nearly all of the contributions specialize in the semantics of the yes and indefinite articles, major into discussions of anaphoricness, specificness, opacity and transparency, referentiality and attributiveness and genericness. The relation of the determiners to different elements of grammar, particularly relativisation and predication, can be investigated. a few realization can also be given to quantifiers. within the spirit of pluralism, there isn't any unmarried paradigm unifying all of the papers, particularly, the quantity displays components of the prolonged average conception, Generative Semantics, Montague Grammar, (Gricean) Pragmatics and Speech Act concept.

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It is ungrammatical with noun-modifiers with which the indefinite artic1e is ungrammatical and with which the defmite artic1e is normally grammatical, and it is grammatical with noun-modifiers with which the indefmite artic1e is grammatical, and the definite artic1e normally ungrammatical. I shall then argue that the artic1e switch is semantically motivated. The predicational relative surface structure is interpreted as a restrictive modifier on a head NP, and this restrictive interpretation, coupled with the semantics of the predication, produces a semantic incompatibility with an indefinite artic1e, which necessitates the conversion to definite status.

Distinguishing one leg from another. The restrictiveness of a modifier within an indefinite NP must therefore mean that there are claimed to exist other, excluded, objects wh ich satisfy both the Tioun and the modifier properties, Le. other 'right legs' . But Fred has only one such, and so a right leg cannot be interpreted as referring to the unique right leg on his body. Instead, the (definite) possessive determiner is required, his right leg. Not only does the object which Fred lost in (61) b.

Again, the meaning of the indefinite article and the modifier are incompatible with one another, and it is to this that their ungrammaticality can be attributed. 2 Restrictiveness in Relation to Indefiniteness Notice now how the restrictiveness of a noun modifier is interpreted within an indefinite NP. Compare (61) a. with (61) b. : (61) a. Fred lost a leg in the war. Fred lost a right leg in the war. (61) b. Fred lost a nase in the war, Le. the right leg in question cannot be Fred's. The reason must be that the set of Fred's body parts contains just one right leg and just one nose .

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