The combination of indefinite and definite ‘determiners’ — a cross-linguistic study

  • Reginald Duah
  • Mira Grubic
  • Agata Renans

Abstract

In the West African languages Akan, Ga (Kwa), Ngamo, and Hausa (West-Chadic), definite familiarity markers and choice-functional indefinites can combine giving rise to a definite interpretation, which poses a puzzle for a compositional analysis of DPs. When combined, three different readings can arise: anaphoric, recognitional, or complement anaphoric reading, though the languages differ with respect to which reading is available. We propose that the available readings depend on (i) whether the definite is strongly or weakly familiar, and (ii) whether the choice-functional indefinite has a novelty condition or not. By that the paper contributes to the ongoing discussion on the interpretation of (in)definites, crosslinguistically.
Published
2021-09-16
How to Cite
Duah, R., Grubic, M., & Renans, A. (2021). The combination of indefinite and definite ‘determiners’ — a cross-linguistic study. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 25, 238-255. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2021.v25i0.934