Article published in:Essays on Nominal Determination: From morphology to discourse management
Edited by Henrik Høeg Müller and Alex Klinge
[Studies in Language Companion Series 99] 2008
► pp. 79–99
Determination in endocentric and exocentric languages: With evidence primarily from Danish and Italian
In this paper it is argued that there is a correlation between lexico-semantic specificity and a tendency towards textual “promotion” of nouns (and, also, of verbs). Textually promoted nouns serve as “instantiators” of nominal “occurrences”, i.e. first, second or third order entities, and in order for a noun to instantiate an entity in a text, a coding of the feature [± identifiable to the hearer] is needed (possibly along with other features as well). In other words: generally, the noun must appear with a determiner. In fact, there is a general tendency for Romance nouns (which are lexically more specific than Germanic ones) to appear with a determiner, whereas Germanic nouns much more often appear undetermined and, possibly, incorporated in verbal or prepositional structures. The mentioned correlation hypothesis is substantiated with evidence mainly from Danish and Italian.
Published online: 09 July 2008
Cited by 2 other publications
Høeg Müller, Henrik
Klassen, Gabrielle & John W. Schwieter
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