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Book Information


Title: On Definiteness
Subtitle: A Study with Special Reference to English and Finnish
Written By: Andrew Chesterman
Series Title: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics, 56

This book proposes a new theory of definiteness in language. It argues that
definiteness should be viewed as a cover-term comprising three basic
oppositions within the areas of familiarity (locatability), quantity
(inclusiveness) and generality (extensivity). Further, the oppositions are
not discrete but scalar, and lend themselves to characterization in terms
of fuzzy theory. Dr Chesterman examines these themes, firstly by drawing on
several traditions of research on the rich system of articles in English,
and then by looking at how the concept of definiteness is realized in
Finnish, a language which has no articles and typically leaves definiteness
to be inferred by a variety of means. On Definiteness provides a thorough
and sensitive discussion of an intricate semantic problem. It highlights
two important theoretical points: the fuzziness of the linguistic concept
of definiteness and the differences between languages in the way in which
they draw the line between syntax, semantics and pragmatics.

Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Subject Language(s): English
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0521022878
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: U.S. $ 34.99
U.K. £ 19.99