By Dr Florian Schwarz
Florian Schwarz's PhD dissertation on semantics. UMass Amherst, Linguistics, 2009
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Extra info for Two Types of Definites in Natural Language
Korsvegen ‘The Gaustadvatnet is a lake in Norway. org/wiki/Gaustadvatnet) Since the strong article would also be felicitous here, these examples provide evidence that the two articles are not in complementary distribution. Even in environ44 ments that allow for both of them to occur, the possibility remains, however, that the two articles achieve the same effect in different ways. In other words, just because both articles can be used in the same context to yield (roughly) the same effect, this does not necessarily mean that they do so using exactly the same semantic means.
Associative Anaphora (Bridging ) John bought a book today. The author is French. (uttered in a room with exactly one desk) John was driving down the street. The steering wheel was cold. 3. Classification of Definite Uses (after Hawkins (1978)) Hawkins (1978) distinguishes a range of different types of uses of definite descriptions. 9 He characterizes these uses roughly as follows:10 The first important class of uses of definite descriptions consists of the so called anaphoric ones, where the interpretation of a definite seems to depend on that of a preceding expression, typically an indefinite noun phrase.
I. * Sie trug’s, wenn ich mich recht erinnere, goldene She wore-theweak if I me right remember golden Halsband. necklace ii. Sie trug, wenn ich mich recht erinnere, ’s She wore if I me goldene right remember theweak golden Halsband. ’ (15) a. vor’m und hinter’m Haus in front of-theweak and behind-theweak house b. * vor dem und hinter’m Haus in front of thestrong and behind-theweak house (Hinrichs 1986) With preposition-article contractions, such as in (14a), an interjection cannot intervene between the two.