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From Noun to Name: On Definiteness Marking in Modern Martinikè

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses two functional morphemes written l(a)- and and pronounced [l(a)] and [le] which have developed in Modern Martinikè as definiteness markers of a sort, alongside the better known enclitic definite determiner. It summarises Löbner's distinction between semantic and pragmatic definiteness. The chapter argues that the phrasal enclitic determiner must be semantically characterised as a pragmatic definiteness marker, in Löbner's sense. It presents the morphological, distributional and semantic properties of l(a)-N and +NP. The chapter recapitulates and argues that l(a)-N and +NP in Martinikè instantiate a class of determiner phrases (DPs) characterised semantically as a subtype of semantic definites denoting individual concepts, and syntactically, by the occurrence of a special functional projection distinct from noun phrase (NP). It concludes that the properties brought out for la-N and +NP in Martinikè lead us to identify l(a)- and as markers of semantic definiteness, in Löbner's sense.

Keywords: determiner phrases (DPs); enclitic definite determiner; Löbner's sense; Modern Martinikè; noun phrase (NP); pragmatic definiteness; semantic definiteness



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