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LINGUIST List 20.3186

Mon Sep 21 2009

Diss: Pragmatics/Semantics: Schwarz: 'Two Types of Definites in...'

Editor for this issue: Di Wdzenczny <dilinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Florian Schwarz, Two Types of Definites in Natural Language

Message 1: Two Types of Definites in Natural Language
Date: 18-Sep-2009
From: Florian Schwarz <floriansling.upenn.edu>
Subject: Two Types of Definites in Natural Language
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Institution: University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2009

Author: Florian Schwarz

Dissertation Title: Two Types of Definites in Natural Language

Dissertation URL: http://florianschwarz.net/FSDiss/FSDiss.html

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics

Dissertation Director:
Angelika Kratzer
Lyn Frazier
Barbara Partee
Charles Clifton
Christopher Potts

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis is concerned with the description and analysis of two
semantically different types of definite articles in German. While the
existence of distinct article paradigms in various Germanic dialects and
other languages has been acknowledged in the descriptive literature, the
theoretical implications of their existence have not been explored
extensively. I argue that each of the articles corresponds to one of the
two predominant theoretical approaches to analyzing definite descriptions:
the weak article encodes uniqueness. The strong article is anaphoric in
nature. In the course of spelling out analyses for the two articles, more
general issues relevant to current semantic theory are addressed, in
particular with respect to situation semantic analyses of donkey sentences
and domain restriction.

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