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date: 06 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

There exist a range of different notions of referentiality in the literature. The cognitive status ‘referential’ on the Givenness Hierarchy means that the hearer can assign a unique representation to the speaker’s intended referent by the time the sentence is processed. This is distinct from definite referents, which are expected to be ‘uniquely identifiable’, a status that entails ‘referential’, on the basis of the definite noun phrase alone. In this chapter, it is argued that phrases that are ‘attributive’, as distinct from ‘referential’, in Donnellan’s 1966 sense are ‘referential’ in the Givenness Hierarchy sense, and are marked as such in languages that mark referentiality overtly via determiners or case marking. Furthermore, it is suggested that bare nominal phrases in languages that allow them are unspecified for referentiality, but that an implicature of non-referentiality for a bare nominal may be generated in languages that mark definiteness or referentiality morphologically.

Keywords: referential, cognitive status, Givenness Hierarchy, attributive, Donnellan, uniquely identifiable, definiteness

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