Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Indefiniteness and Specificity in Old Italian Texts


Stark, Elisabeth (2002). Indefiniteness and Specificity in Old Italian Texts. Journal of Semantics, 19(3):315-332.

Abstract

The present study shows the necessity to assume, in the process of nominal determiner grammaticalization, an intermediate period between the early facultative marking of important referents and fully grammaticalized article systems. In this intermediate period, especially indefinite determiners seem to be distributed in a quite clearcut way according to the specificity of the referents introduced by the respective noun phrases. Statistical evidence for this is drawn from the distribution of the indefinites uno, alcuno, certo and bare noun phrases in a corpus of three Old Tuscan novella collections. Specificity, understood as the semantic property of non‐varying, operator independent interpretation of the variable introduced by an indefinite noun phrase, which makes a continuous anaphoric reference to the respective discourse referent possible, is conceived as a phenomenon of information organization in texts. It seems to be, at this intermediate stage of nominal determiner grammaticalization, a lexical feature of indefinites rather than an effect of syntactic or pragmatic factors.

Abstract

The present study shows the necessity to assume, in the process of nominal determiner grammaticalization, an intermediate period between the early facultative marking of important referents and fully grammaticalized article systems. In this intermediate period, especially indefinite determiners seem to be distributed in a quite clearcut way according to the specificity of the referents introduced by the respective noun phrases. Statistical evidence for this is drawn from the distribution of the indefinites uno, alcuno, certo and bare noun phrases in a corpus of three Old Tuscan novella collections. Specificity, understood as the semantic property of non‐varying, operator independent interpretation of the variable introduced by an indefinite noun phrase, which makes a continuous anaphoric reference to the respective discourse referent possible, is conceived as a phenomenon of information organization in texts. It seems to be, at this intermediate stage of nominal determiner grammaticalization, a lexical feature of indefinites rather than an effect of syntactic or pragmatic factors.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 29 Sep 2021
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Romance Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism
470 Latin & Italic languages
410 Linguistics
440 French & related languages
460 Spanish & Portuguese languages
450 Italian, Romanian & related languages
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
Social Sciences & Humanities > Linguistics and Language
Physical Sciences > Artificial Intelligence
Language:English
Date:August 2002
Deposited On:29 Sep 2021 13:29
Last Modified:18 Mar 2024 04:40
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0167-5133
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/jos/19.3.315
Related URLs:https://academic.oup.com/jos (Publisher)