Questions tagged [determiners]

Occur together with a noun or noun phrase and express their reference in the given context. This can be definiteness or indefiniteness, number, possession or proximity. Examples in English are "a", "the", "some", "that", "my", "five", but also the zero article in "∅ tables" (depending on theory).

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Under the DP hypothesis, does anything ever go in the Spec of NP?

I attach Carnie's illustration of "several people who she kissed" below: My question is on the NP to N' branch (red boxed). I was taught that restrictive relatives clauses are adjuncts to ...
Jenny's user avatar
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3 answers
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Is it possible to have a determiner without a complement?

Is it possible to have a determiner without a complement in any language? I'm interested in sentences like "I bought two books" and "I bought two". What is the grammatical category ...
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Do any languages do without the word for "this" (or "that"), or treat them somehow as nouns/verbs/adjectives?

A lot of words are defined in terms of "this", such as "here: this place". But "this" can be a pronoun ("is this your bag?") or determiner ("don't listen ...
Lance's user avatar
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1 answer
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How to translate words like "the" to other languages?

So this question boils down to, how do you teach someone in Inuktitut (or elsewhere) about the word "the" (or "a")? How do you translate phrases like "the big red tree" ...
Lance's user avatar
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Portuguese — Why use definite articles in front of possessive nouns? Why the extensive use of proposition contraction?

I can speak Spanish and French, and I am currently learning Portuguese. During my learning, I realized that there are some unique features in Portuguese — I don't speak Italian, so I don't know if ...
Yan Zhuang's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
252 views

Singular countable nouns that don't require determinatives?

The English determiners wikipedia page says The determinative function is typically obligatory in a singular, countable, common noun phrase (compare I have *a* new cat to I have new cat). and In ...
minseong's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
146 views

On the use of possessive pronouns instead of definite articles in AmE

Consider the following examples: I have to go now, my Uber driver has arrived. So, have you already learned your ABCs? I now will put my eggs into the dry ingredients. All of these are examples of a ...
Pedro's user avatar
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Are WH-determiner, WH-adverb and WH-pronoun mutually exclusive?

I was going through this article. It describes WH-determiners, WH-adverbs and WH-pronouns. Below are examples for each from the article: WH-determiners What book are you reading? Which plane is he ...
RajS's user avatar
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2 answers
471 views

NP or DP for "that book"

When referring to phrases such as "that book", would it be considered a DP or a NP? I think it should be considered as a DP but I am not sure how to prove it using our given data. Some data ...
junev's user avatar
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2 answers
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Languages with overt determiners AND pronouns/proper nouns

I am currently performing a cross-linguistic investigation of determiner phrases, and I was wondering if there are languages out there where an overt determiner can occur with a pronoun or proper noun,...
JKodner's user avatar
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1 answer
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How does one write out possessive pronouns under DP

Would for example "their" be divided into they and 's under the DP theory when writing out a tree?
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How common object/subject case being applied to determiners/demonstrative/articles instead of nouns?

I'm talking about a language where say, a certain case is only expressed on the determiners/demonstrative/article? So they might say for example: Which-a Cat? Which-LOC. Cat? Rather than: Which Cat-...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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Floating quantifiers in X-bar theory: "the men all have gone"

In chapter 9 of Syntax: A generative Introduction (2nd ed), Carnie shows that we can solve some problems by generating subjects in Spec of VP and letting them move to Spec of TP. In the first ...
Keelan's user avatar
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Substantivized Adjectives and the NP vs. DP Debate

At least since the 80s linguists have debated whether simple phrases like the cake are NPs with determiners in the specifier position or DPs with NP complements. Substantivized adjectives seem to me ...
Alan T.'s user avatar
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1 answer
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Is "of the kitten" in "the paw of the kitten" a complement to the NP or an adjunct to the DP?

I'm drawing a tree for "the paw of the kitten" (from chapter 7 of Andrew Carnie's Syntax: A Generative Introduction). This chapter is "extending X-bar theory", so please keep that ...
Keelan's user avatar
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1 answer
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How to draw the NP "so little" in "He said so little" in a tree diagram?

He said so little. includes the NP so little, which doesn't include any noun. In the X-bar theory style tree diagram, how do you go about describing the NP? Do you have N' below the NP? Do you have ...
JK2's user avatar
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Subcategorisation Frame with DPs

I want to construct a subcatagorisation frame for some words, for example that take a DP complement. Take the preposition "between" as example. I arrive at this point: Form: "...
Felix's user avatar
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3 answers
177 views

Status of the determiner "any"

In "Mathematical Methods in Linguistics" by Partee, Meulen and Wall (1990), it is stated on page 385 that the determiner any has been a notorious problem for semantic analysis, since it is sometimes ...
E Zhang's user avatar
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2 answers
186 views

Constituency-based parse trees and the word 'both' in noun phrases

I ran into a problem when doing a parse tree recently. It appears to be the word 'both' in the following sentence that is causing the trouble: It is evident for both you and the listener Obviously '...
Zeneng's user avatar
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3 answers
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Why not just use demonstratives instead of determiners

Along the same lines as Understanding the purpose of determiners/articles/demonstratives in language, wondering why not just use demonstratives everywhere instead of determiners. It looks like the is ...
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
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This/that: a determiner or pronoun? [duplicate]

Is there commonly accepted opinion on what lexemes this/that are, determiners or pronouns? E.g. in the following phrase: ... can help you work these out these seem to show some properties of ...
Denis Kulagin's user avatar
-3 votes
2 answers
160 views

Does "a" in "I made a mistake" denote indefiniteness? [closed]

I made a mistake. Here, "a" is called the indefinite article in contrast with the definite article "the". But does "a" in this sentence denote indefiniteness? As far as I can tell, "a" is needed ...
JK2's user avatar
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2 votes
4 answers
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Why isn't a countable noun required to have a determiner when used in the plural?

When used in the singular, a countable noun is required to have a determiner. *I bought car. But the same countable noun is not required to have any determiner when used in the plural. I bought ...
JK2's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
238 views

Are null and zero articles present in every language, conceptually, or only in English?

I have been studying Peter Master's 2003 paper regarding null and zero articles and I am still not clear if he is saying that this is a peculiarity of English or if he is saying that this is a ...
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1 answer
232 views

weak definite article in Engish linguistics

I may be wrong, but I don't seem to have come across the term 'weak definite article' in English linguistics though I think I've encountered it in German or French linguistics. (I've read 'weak ...
Sssamy's user avatar
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X-bar: Put 'Where' in a Determiner Phrase or in an Adverb Phrase?

I'm currently working on an introductory guide to X-bar Theory for a group of students, and was wondering whether to classify a specific part as a Determiner Phrase or an Adverb Phrase. I have ...
ArnoudX's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
894 views

How to analyze an NP with two determiners?

I have a phrase and I have to draw a tree structure of it. "These many awful photographs" is the phrase. The only thing that I don't get is the "many". "These" is DP, "awful" is the adjective, and "...
Anna Varga's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
546 views

What do Determiners determine? [closed]

Source: An Introduction to Language (10 ed, 2014) by V Fromkin, R Rodman, N Hyams [p 86:] For example, determiners specify whether a noun is indefi- nite or definite (a boy versus the boy), or ...
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1 answer
154 views

Can determinatives be semantically plural?

Number is typically something that applies to nouns. In English, determinatives enter into scalar relationship and select singular or plural heads, but does it makes sense from a semantic point of ...
Brett Reynolds's user avatar
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0 answers
87 views

"an" -> "a" When Describing a Noun With Adjectives

Observed in fluent speech: a unrounded vowel To a native English speaker, the following would be expected instead: an unrounded vowel What's happening here? It looks like the speaker is ...
geometrian's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
226 views

Possessive determiner depending on grammatical gender of owner

Consider possessive determiners when the owner is a third person. In many languages, the determiner depends on the natural gender of the speaker (English: he-she-it) or, in languages with grammatical ...
shuhalo's user avatar
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1 vote
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Are there other words that behave like "weather" in English?

I have been looking at how nouns behave with determiners and plurals and such. So things like mass, count, and collective nouns. One oddball that I have found is "weather", and I am wondering if there ...
Moss's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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The notion of monotonicity

I am slightly confused bu the notion of upward-monotonicity and downward-monotonicity. I cannot understand what exactly can be defined as upward-monoty and down-ward-monotony, is this definition of ...
user16168's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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How are phrases such as "How beautiful" usually analyzed?

In English (and I believe in other languages, though I'm not certain), question words like "how" and "what" can be used as intensifiers, in phrases like How beautiful or What splendor or ...
Anachrome's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
4k views

Lexical category of "that"

I am having a bit of trouble with my linguistics homework. I know "that" is a determiner. However, I am less sure of its lexical category in this sentence: "Ginny likes that." I know that a sentence ...
mrQWERTY's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
375 views

What is a group of determiners called?

Verbs, auxiliaries and modals constitute the verb group (Vgp). Is there an official term used to describe a [group of determiners] (pre-, central-, post-) that pre-modify the noun in the NP? In the ...
Morphosyntax's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Are the demonstrative determiners "this" & "that" inflected to become "these" & "those" or are they different lexemes altogether?

If I'm not mistaken, nouns (and nominals) are the only words that can inflect for grammatical number. E.g.: cat (Sg), cats (Pl); writing (Sg), writings (Pl). "This" and "that" as singular ...
Morphosyntax's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Quantifier (Noun Phrase + Prepositional Phrase); what are they called?

I'm having a really hard time searching for the exact term to refer to quantifiers that are of NP+PP combinations. E.g.: a lot of, lots of, a bit of, plenty of, a number of, an amount of, etc. "Basic" ...
Morphosyntax's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
207 views

What makes the "an" a determiner in one situation and a preposition in another in English?

The "an" word is usually a determiner: I will be ready in an hour. It can also be used as a preposition with the meaning of "per": My rate is $10 an hour. How can I tell in each particular situation ...
Trident D'Gao's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
93 views

Resources/papers on Portuguese nominal syntax and determiners?

I'm vaguely aware that the (definite) determiner has a much freer distribution in Portuguese than in other languages, e.g. it can come before personal names: A Maria lê um livro. The Maria reads a ...
alcas's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
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What is a determiner?

I asked a previous question related to this one about parts of speech. I need to figure out what a determiner (DT) is in Penn Treebank Tag Set. In the set examples found in the tag set, it appears ...
Tyler Rinker's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
221 views

Is there any language that expresses the category D but doesn't have inverse scope?

By "expresses the category D" I mean, preferably, that there is solid evidence/argumentation for a given morpheme to be analyzed as overtly heading a Determiner projection. I would limit such ...
Alexis Wellwood's user avatar
23 votes
8 answers
9k views

Does Japanese have determiners?

It's generally established that Japanese does not have the grammatical category of articles (akin to English "a/an" and "the"). But as mentioned in this answer, the concept of articles seems to be ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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