7 votes

Singular countable nouns that don't require determinatives?

These are called bare noun phrases and are of interest cross-linguistically in relation to languages in which noun phrases usually contain Determiners. With regard to English, there are a couple of ...
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6 votes

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

I will start answering to flush out the semantics described according to my sense of American English. In "1. I have to go now, my Uber driver has arrived," the possessive is normally ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Do any languages do without the word for "this" (or "that"), or treat them somehow as nouns/verbs/adjectives?

Do any languages completely do without a concept for "this" and "that"? The general concept behind "this" and "that" is called "deixis" (from the ...
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  • 53.3k
4 votes
Accepted

Possessive determiner depending on grammatical gender of owner

The term you are looking for is Agreement. Here's the definition of Agreement: Agreement is a phenomenon in natural language in which the form of one word or morpheme covaries with the form of ...
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  • 8,550
4 votes
Accepted

Why not just use demonstratives instead of determiners

I don't consider it easy to justify the distinction between demonstratives and determiners, since as far as I can tell, syntactically at least, there is none. But your example sentences show exactly ...
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  • 4,348
3 votes

NP or DP for "that book"

I like that book. In the DP theory, the determinative "that" is head and the noun is the dependent. The demonstrative determinative "that" is just as much a determiner here as &...
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  • 790
3 votes

NP or DP for "that book"

First, a note: this isn't the only possible way to answer the question. You can also argue for it being an NP with special restrictions that mean it can only combine with the null determiner. There ...
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  • 53.3k
3 votes

Languages with overt determiners AND pronouns/proper nouns

Lots of languages precede proper names with a definite article. The phenomenon is called the 'preproprial definite article'. You can find an article with a quick survey of languages and some ...
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3 votes

How to translate words like "the" to other languages?

Determiners (the standard term for words like "the") have long been a problem for formal semantics, which I think is what you're trying to do here—translate a sentence into some formalized, ...
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  • 53.3k
3 votes

Status of the determiner "any"

I'm not aware of an improvement. Sometimes "any" is used in generalizations, like the universal quantifier of predicate logic, and sometimes it is used as a negative polarity word, as in "I want some ...
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  • 12.3k
3 votes

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

No language can have something one, there are no languages with one tense, or one case, or one number, etc. There always must be an opposition for the category to exist in a language. For example, ...
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  • 16.3k
3 votes

Does "a" in "I made a mistake" denote indefiniteness?

Once "a" is removed from the above sentence, it becomes ungrammatical as follows: *I made mistake. Now, is this sentence ungrammatical because now mistake isn't indefinite anymore without &...
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  • 5,442
3 votes
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The notion of monotonicity

You are addressing two problems: why is there, apparently, a monotonicity reversal when negating your first example ("banana"), but not the second ("driving")? why is your first example upward-...
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  • 1,497
2 votes

What do Determiners determine?

From Ionin et al (2008). I think this explains it nicely (if the formalness doesn't scare you off): The distinction between 'the' and 'a' is one of definiteness. We adopt here a standard view of ...
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2 votes
Accepted

Can determinatives be semantically plural?

It's really hard to know what you would mean by semantic plural when it comes to things that are not nouns. Given that quantifiers bring plurality into the equation, you could argue that most are ...
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2 votes

Does "a" in "I made a mistake" denote indefiniteness?

The "indefinite article" is called that because it is an article* and it is used with indefinite noun phrases. It certainly isn't a necessary part of all indefinite noun phrases: the English ...
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  • 16.8k
2 votes

How to analyze an NP with two determiners?

This is not a general answer to the title question, because the "determinative" (in Cambridge GEL terminology; or "determiner" in Comprehensive GEL terminology) word class seems to ...
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  • 16.8k
2 votes

How to draw the NP "so little" in "He said so little" in a tree diagram?

There are a number of possibilities for the X-bar analysis of the phrase so little. A central choice one has to make concerns viewing little as an adjective or as a derived noun, that is, as a noun ...
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  • 5,320
2 votes

Why isn't a countable noun required to have a determiner when used in the plural?

No. It is just the rule for English, other languages differ, e.g., Russian and Chinese don't have articles at all (neither definite nor indefinite ones).
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2 votes

How does one write out possessive pronouns under DP

Yes, you could do that. Distributed Morphology (Halle & Marantz 1993) is a morphology framework in which you would have an abstract "they" and "'s" (in your case) which would ...
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  • 638
1 vote
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Floating quantifiers in X-bar theory: "the men all have gone"

'The men all have a {noun}' is fine, but 'the men all have {verb}ed' is not. The rule is probably the same one as the one that has us say 'they/we have all {verbed}' rather than 'they/we all have {...
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1 vote
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Substantivized Adjectives and the NP vs. DP Debate

While the analysis of phrases like "the meek" and "the happy" is debated, one common strategy is to view them as containing some syntactic element without an overt phonological ...
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  • 16.8k
1 vote

Is "of the kitten" in "the paw of the kitten" a complement to the NP or an adjunct to the DP?

I don't find your constituency tests convincing, so I would go with the complement analysis unless there are other arguments against it. You can insert a pause at "the paw — of the kitten" ...
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  • 16.8k
1 vote

Status of the determiner "any"

they are partly complementary (as every can not determine uncountable nouns) e.g. ...any harm will be eliminated..., but not every harm also in some contexts the use of any implies choice, e.g. We ...
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  • 166
1 vote
Accepted

What do Determiners determine?

A determiner determines reference. Although in traditional grammar, nouns are spoken of as though they have reference, really they don't. Nouns predicate, but do not refer. Instead, noun phrases ...
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  • 12.3k
1 vote

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

I would like to expand on the answer provided by David Vogt and supported by BillJ in the comments. The word both is often the first part of a two-part conjunction, called correlative conjunction. ...
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  • 5,320
1 vote

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

Note that both is not a determiner here. Barring conversion (such as the you I knew), you cannot be modified by a determiner. In your case, both is part of a correlative conjunction. Other examples ...
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1 vote

Why not just use demonstratives instead of determiners

I think the actual question should be phrased like this: why articles at all, why not using demonstratives when you really need to say "this person, not that one", and otherwise, just "person"? I ...
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  • 161
1 vote

Why not just use demonstratives instead of determiners

In English, articles are used to mark definiteness and often number, demonstratives are used to distinguish a particular entity between multiple entities (adding deixis to definiteness and number), ...
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  • 11
1 vote

Why isn't a countable noun required to have a determiner when used in the plural?

The English indefinite article comes from the word for "one" (Old English ān), which, because of its semantics, is somewhat resistant to pluralization. (This resistance is not perfect, however, and ...
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  • 1,347

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