The Combination of Indefinite and Definite Determiners in Akan

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Dokumentart: ConferencePaper
Date: 2023-07
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Philosophische Fakultät
DDC Classifikation: 400 - Language and Linguistics
490 - Other languages
Keywords: Linguistik , Semantik , Feldforschung , Akan , Definitheit
Other Keywords:
linguistics, semantics, fieldwork, Niger-Congo languages, Akan, definiteness
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This paper discusses the co-occurrence of the choice-functional indefinite determiner BÍ and the definite determiner NÓ in Akan. The resulting DP refers to an individual that is mutually known to be unique (i.e., this is a definite interpretation), but there is also an epistemic component, indicating that the addressee has to make an effort to retrieve the referent. We propose that this interpretation is similar to the reading found with the so-called recognitional use of demonstratives (Himmelmann 1996, Bombi et al. 2019), and suggest an account that attributes this component to the indefinite determiner (following research by Owusu 2019).

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