Referring nouns in name-informing quotation: A copula-based approach

  • Holden Härtl


In name-informing constructions like The phenomenon is called a “sun halo”, the noun mentioned in the quotation (a “sun halo”) adopts a referring interpretation, as indicated by the determiner. As an account, we claim predicates like call to introduce a copular relation, which is the source of referring uses of nominals in name-informing quotation: To call y“n” entails that y is an n. Two copula types are argued to be covertly contained in name-in- forming constructions, an identificational copula and an equative copula, and we put forward linguistic evidence in support of this distinction. Further, corpus data show that nouns quoted in a name-informing construction are more prone to be used with quotes when accompanied by a determiner. We interpret this to reflect a pragmatic strategy employed to highlight theexpression’s mentioning use. Lastly, the quotations under discussion are differentiated from other types of quotation. Specifically, name-informing quotations are treated as instantiations of pure quotation, which we reason to be entailed compositionally and, although they can be referential hybrids, should not be subsumed either under open or mixed quotation.
How to Cite
Härtl, H. (2020). Referring nouns in name-informing quotation: A copula-based approach. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 24(1), 291-304.