Cover: What Makes Definite Noun Phrases Definite?

What Makes Definite Noun Phrases Definite?

Published 1968

by Lauri Karttunen

Download

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback35 pages $20.00

A continuation of the analysis of referentiality in noun phrases begun in P-3756 and P-3854. There are at least three different cases to be considered. (1) Anything in the immediate environment of the speaker and hearer toward which their attention is directed becomes a discourse referent whether it is explicitly mentioned or not. (2) In every discourse there is a basic set of referents known to all the participants without special identification — such as the earth, the sky, the beach, the city — which are referred to by the definite article [the]. (3) A discourse referent is established without any explicit introduction when its existence is readily inferred in context: reference to "a party" introduces "the hostess"; reference to "a liner" introduces "the captain"; and references to "driving" introduce "the car" and its parts, e.g., "the hood" and "the radiator." A statement such as, "Flying to San Francisco is cheap. The fare is only $13.95," perfectly clear to the hearer, would be difficult to program in terms of the predicate calculus.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.