Relative Specificity

  • Klaus von Heusinger


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.
How to Cite
von Heusinger, K. (2019). Relative Specificity. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 6, 115-132.