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6 The Function of the Article Defined

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Chapter Summary

There is a certain irony regarding the "basic" function of the article. On the one hand, it is accepted that it primarily functions as a modifier, and that the modification it produces is that of substantivization. On the other hand, this function is not recognized as the article's defining function. Though exhaustive attempts have been made to describe the Greek article's function, these attempts have produced results that are problematic in that they do not account for the full range of occurrences in a comprehensive and uniform manner. This is due to an association of the Greek article with English TH- items. As a modifier, the function of the Greek article is to influence the meaning of the head term by characterizing it as concrete. By characterizing the head term, the article performs a pragmatic function within the nominal group, which impacts the function of the group within discourse.

Keywords: English TH- items; Greek article's function; substantivization



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