© 2013

Different Kinds of Specificity Across Languages

  • Cornelia Ebert
  • Stefan Hinterwimmer

Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 92)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Cornelia Ebert, Stefan Hinterwimmer
    Pages 1-10
  3. Christian Ebert, Cornelia Ebert, Stefan Hinterwimmer
    Pages 31-74
  4. Luis Alonso-Ovalle, Paula Menéndez-Benito
    Pages 123-153
  5. Klaus von Heusinger, Udo Klein
    Pages 155-176
  6. Jacques Jayez, Lucia M. Tovena
    Pages 177-207

About this book


This anthology of papers analyzes a range of specificity markers found in natural languages. It reflects the fact that despite intensive research into these markers, the vast differences between the markers across languages and even within single languages have been less acknowledged. Commonly regarded specific indefinites are by no means a homogenous class, and so this volume fills a gap in our understanding of the semantics and pragmatics of indefinites.

The papers explore differences and similarities among these specificity markers, concentrating on the following issues: whether specificity is a purely semantic or also a pragmatic notion; whether the contribution of specificity markers is located on the level of the at-issue content; whether some kind of speaker-listener asymmetry concerning the identification of the referent is involved; and the behavioral scope of these indefinites in the context of other quantifiers, negation, attitude verbs, and intensional/modal operators.


Distribution of two Indefinite Articles Formal semantics German Specificity Markers bestimmt and gewiss Indefinites Intensional/modal operators Natural languages Pragmatic variation among specificity markers Semantics and pragmatics of indefinites Semantics-pragmatics interface Specificity markers and Nominal Exclamatives in French Syntax-semantics interface Topicality Widest scope

Editors and affiliations

  • Cornelia Ebert
    • 1
  • Stefan Hinterwimmer
    • 2
  1. 1.Inst. Linguistik/GermanistikUniversitaet StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Cognitive ScienceUniversity of OsnabrueckOsnabrueckGermany

Bibliographic information