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9 The Article with Nouns

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the function of the Greek article, which is to characterize the head term as concrete, as belonging to experience of an actual thing or event. With regard to nouns, the non-use of the article characterizes the head term as abstract, as not belonging to a specific instance. This categorization is subjective, and orients the identity of the referent to the speaker or writer. There is no indication that the speaker and the recipients share in common the information that is necessary for identifying the referent. On the contrary, by employing the article, the speaker indicates that he or she is providing this information, upon which the recipient is dependent for identification. The motivation for this characterization is often a matter of grounding or indicating salience. Anarthrous elements are employed to establish the ground of the discourse, against which the articular elements or figures are seen.

Keywords: anarthrous elements; Greek article; noun



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