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Definiteness : Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics - Christopher Lyons


Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics

Hardcover Published: 13th March 1999
ISBN: 9780521362825
Number Of Pages: 402

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This textbook investigates definiteness both from a comparative and a theoretical point of view, showing how languages express definiteness and what definiteness is. It surveys a large number of languages to discover the range of variation in relation to definiteness and related grammatical phenomena, such as demonstratives, possessives and personal pronouns. It outlines work done on the nature of definiteness in semantics, pragmatics and syntax, and develops an account on which definiteness is a grammatical category represented in syntax as a functional head (the widely discussed D). Consideration is also given to the origins and evolution of definite articles in the light of the comparative and theoretical findings. Among the claims advanced are that definiteness does not occur in all languages, though the pragmatic concept which it grammaticalizes probably does.

Basic observations
Simple definites and indefinites
Complex definites and indefinites
Some semantic and pragmatic distinctions
Interaction with other grammatical phenomena
Definiteness effects
Defining definiteness
Definiteness and noun phrase structure
Diachronic aspects
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521362825
ISBN-10: 0521362822
Series: Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 402
Published: 13th March 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.69
Weight (kg): 0.76