Relative Specificity

  • Klaus von Heusinger

Abstract

Semantic theories of specificity are based on the assumptions that a specific indefinite has wide scope and/or a referential reading. However, there are specific indefinites that are neither wide scope expressions nor referential expressions. I call this kind of specificity “relative specificy” and take it as the most general case of specific indefinites. I propose that indefinite NPs have a referential index, like modal or temporal indices. This index can be anchored to another expression in the discourse. If the index is anchored to another referential expression, the indefinite receives a specific reading.
Published
2019-08-20
How to Cite
von Heusinger, K. (2019). Relative Specificity. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 6, 115-132. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2002.v6i0.822