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[Part III. Definiteness and beyond, The semantic core of determiners]

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Abstract

In this article, I argue that definiteness is not found in all languages, based on the different behaviour of determiners in English and S&#7733;wxw&#250;7mesh (Salish). However, I also argue that, despite overt differences between the determiner systems of English and S&#7733;wxw&#250;7mesh, determiners in both languages share one property in common: domain restriction. Further, I argue that the behaviour of English <i>the</i> 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 S&#7733;wxw&#250;7mesh lack a uniqueness requirement, and this is the sole reason that they behave differently from English <i>the</i>.

References

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