Article published in:Determiners: Universals and variation
Edited by Jila Ghomeshi, Ileana Paul and Martina Wiltschko
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 147] 2009
► pp. 177–214
The semantic core of determiners
Evidence from Sḵwxwú7mesh
In this article, I argue that definiteness is not found in all languages, based on the different behaviour of determiners in English and Sḵwxwú7mesh (Salish). However, I also argue that, despite overt differences between the determiner systems of English and Sḵwxwú7mesh, determiners in both languages share one property in common: domain restriction. Further, I argue that the behaviour of English the can be explained in terms of its uniqueness requirement and domain restriction. Definiteness is thus a result of the interaction of domain restriction and uniqueness and is not itself a feature of any grammar. I also argue that the determiners in Sḵwxwú7mesh lack a uniqueness requirement, and this is the sole reason that they behave differently from English the.
Published online: 28 October 2009
Cited by 7 other publications
Dali, Myriam & Éric Mathieu
Klassen, Gabrielle & John W. Schwieter
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