Definiteness and Indefiniteness

Definiteness and Indefiniteness : A Study in Reference and Grammaticality Prediction

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Description

First published in 1988, this book is concerned with the definite and indefinite articles in English. It provides an integrated pragmatic-semantic theory of definite and indefinite reference, on the basis of which, many co-occurance restrictions between articles and non-modifiers are explained. At the general theoretical level, this book looks at the role of semantics in the prediction of all and only the grammatical sentences of a language. A generalisation is proposed uniting semantic oppositions underlying ungrammaticality with syntactic oppositions between conditions of application on transformational generative rules. A procedure is suggested for distinguishing semantic from syntactic causes of ungrammaticality. At a more particular level, the book explores the nature of reference. It examines an important selection of subjects such as the contrast between definiteness and indefiniteness, the relationship between definite and demonstrative reference, and the relationship between pragmatic and logical aspects of determining meaning.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 316 pages
  • 162 x 242 x 25mm | 619.99g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • ROUTLEDGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1138919306
  • 9781138919303

Table of contents

Preface; Introduction 1. Meaning and Grammaticality Prediction in Generative Grammar 2. Syntactic and Semantic Causes of Ungrammaticality 3. The Referential Meaning of Definiteness 4. The Semantic Contrast between Definiteness and Indefiniteness 5. Ungrammaticalities Arising from the Semantic Contrast between Definiteness and Indefiniteness 6. Conclusions and Hypotheses for the Theory of Grammar; Notes; References; Indexshow more