Specificity as Referential Anchoring: Evidence from Russian

  • Ljudmila Geist


In some languages different specific and non-specific readings of indefinites may be disambiguated by indefinite pronouns used as determiners. Our investigation of specificity markers in Russian shows that they mark different referential anchoring of new discourse referents which are introduced by indefinite noun phrases to already established discourse referents. The idea of referential anchoring can be modeled via parameterized choice functions. The proposed analysis suggests that semantics and pragmatics divide the labor of fixing the anchor for indefinites. The restrictions on the type of referential anchor may be encoded in the lexical entry of the specificity marker, or arise pragmatically from contrasts to other possible markers.
How to Cite
Geist, L. (2019). Specificity as Referential Anchoring: Evidence from Russian. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 12, 151-164. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2008.v12i0.582