chapter  2
42 Pages

Review of Previous Studies

In this chapter, I am going to review previous studies of the specific uses of indefinites. The main issue concerning the specific uses of indefinites has been the question of whether indefinites are semantically or, more generally, linguistically ambiguous, or whether specificity is just a matter of "pragmatics." The latter view is, in a sense, easier to defend; it is hard to provide critical evidence for the ambiguity view. What I am going to do is try to claim again that indefinites are indeed linguistically (i.e., semantically) ambiguous. My analysis, however, is different from previous ambiguity views of indefinites. Thus I will show why previous ambiguity theorists have not been successful, but also that the non-ambiguity view is not correct.