By Christopher Lyons
This 1999 textbook investigates definiteness either from a comparative and a theoretical perspective, exhibiting how languages exhibit definiteness and what definiteness is. It surveys numerous languages to find the diversity of version when it comes to definiteness and similar grammatical phenomena, reminiscent of demonstratives, possessives and private pronouns. It outlines paintings performed at the nature of definiteness in semantics, pragmatics and syntax, and develops an account on which definiteness is a grammatical class represented in syntax as a practical head (the greatly mentioned D). attention can also be given to the origins and evolution of yes articles within the gentle of the comparative and theoretical findings. one of the claims complicated are that definiteness doesn't take place in all languages, even though the pragmatic notion which it grammaticalizes most likely does.
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Additional info for Definiteness (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics)
The deictic feature typically expressed on a demonstrative plays a similar role to pointing, guiding the hearer’s attention to the referent. This suggests a necessary connection between [+ Dem] and [+ Def ], the former implying the latter. I take demonstratives, then, to be necessarily definite. 3 Proper nouns The term “proper noun”, or “proper name”, is applied to a very heterogeneous set of expressions, including John, The Arc de Triomphe, South Farm Road, some of which have internal grammatical structure and contain descriptive elements, and some of which do not.
This idea is strongly supported by the observation that the firstand second-person plural pronouns we and you also occur pre-nominally: (74) a. b. We Europeans are experiencing some strange weather patterns. I don’t trust you politicians an inch. So we and you can be regarded as forms of the definite article, dicering from the only in respect to person, but occurring both as determiners and as pronouns; suppletive variation is limited to the third person. , You lucky bastard!. ). I can suggest no reason for this restriction, but it is, at least in part, a language-specific fact; German permits both the exclamatory use and the more general use with ich ‘I’: (75) Ich Esel!
In view of these facts, one must ask whether a and sm really are indefinite articles.