The interpretation of plural definites in discourse: the case of spatial adpositions
2014 (English)In: Linguistics and the human sciences, ISSN 1742-2906, E-ISSN 1743-1662, Vol. 9, no 2, 201-227 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In this paper we offer a study on the interpretation of plural definites in discourse (‘the tank engines’) and their interaction with spatial adpositions (‘to’ and ‘at’). The novel empirical findings in the paper support the following assumptions on the contribu-tion of spatial adpositions to the interpretation of plural definites. First, the interpre-tation of plural definites can be influenced by the lexical aspect type of adpositions. While ‘to’ as ‘telic’ predicate can license both a ‘collective’ and a ‘distributive’ reading for plural definites, ‘at’ as an ‘atelic’ predicate only licenses a ‘collective’ reading. Second, the precise lexical content of adpositions determines which interpretation is accessed. It is claimed that ‘at’ denotes a ‘general location’ relation between locatum and landmark object, and thus licenses a collective reading for plural definites.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sheffield: Equinox Publishing , 2014. Vol. 9, no 2, 201-227 p.
definites; adpositions; discourse analysis; lexical aspect; sentence processing
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject Linguistics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-31528DOI: 10.1558/lhs.v9i2.201OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-31528DiVA: diva2:956244