The temporal presuppositions of Somali definite determiners

  • Rudmila-Rodica Ivan
  • Deniz Özyildiz


Nominal temporal markers (NTMs) locate the time at which the property or relation denoted by a nominal holds of an entity (Enç, 1981). What distinguishes Somali from other languages with overt NTMs is that these markers are also definite determiners. We follow up on the observation that there is a contrast in the interpretation of definite determiners -KA and -KII, and propose that this contrast is a difference in the scalar implicatures triggered by each determiner. This difference is linked to an interaction between the temporal presuppositions of -KA and -KII and the lexical semantics of their NP complement. Our analysis captures the fact that these determiners do not obey common diagnostics of “nominal tense” (Tonhauser, 2007), while accounting for the data in Lecarme (1996) as well as the more recent proposal (Lecarme, 2008, 2012) that -KII and -KA track the (in)visibility of the entity denoted by the DP.
How to Cite
Ivan, R.-R., & Özyildiz, D. (1). The temporal presuppositions of Somali definite determiners. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 21(1), 623-642. Retrieved from