The definiteness of subjects and objects in Malagasy

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We evaluate, for Malagasy (W. Austronesian; Madagascar), a standard observation regarding the distribution and marking of (in)definites in subject and in object position. Bare nouns naturally constitute direct objects (DOs) with an indefinite interpretation. But definite DOs are also natural, and some are marked with a preposition which also has a locative function (cf Roumanian, Spanish). Bare Ns do not occur as subjects, whereas inherently definite DPs – proper nouns, personal pronouns, demonstratives, Ns with a definite or previous mention article do. However three classes of Quantified DPs – cardinal, universal, and proportionality ones, also naturally occur as subjects. They are constructed with an apparent definite article, but their meanings in English would be called indefinite.


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