Edited by Simin Karimi, Narges Nematollahi, Roya Kabiri and Jian Gang Ngui
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 361] 2023
► pp. 12–43
This paper investigates the syntax, semantics and discourse effects of bare nominal objects in Persian, analysed as an instance of pseudo-incorporation, in contrast to objects marked by the indefinite article yek and to objects marked by the object marker -rā. The main experimental result is that bare objects readily allow for anaphoric uptake, in contrast to claims in previous literature about Persian and pseudo-incorporated objects in other languages. However, anaphoric uptake is less readily available than with yek-marked objects.
We account for this difference, elaborating on Krifka & Modarresi (2016), where we argue for existential closure over the vP (Diesing 1992) as analyzed in Modarresi (2014) and an interpretation of bare objects as definites dependent on this existential closure. We give an implementation in Discourse Representation Theory (Kamp & Reyle 1993) which provides a model for our experimental findings. We consider -rā as marking constituents that moved out of the existential closure. Thus BNs if marked with -rā are definite and if not are definites dependent on existential closure similar, leading to weak definite effects. This also explains semantic features like the number-neutrality of bare objects, the specific/definite interpretation of rā-marked objects, and the similarity of bare objects to weak definites in languages like English.