chapter  3
52 Pages

An Ambiguity View of Specificity

In the previous chapter, we discussed various issues regarding specificity, and they lead us to two main issues. One is whether specific uses of indefinites are semantic or pragmatic. And the other is how specific indefinites should be analyzed. Of course, these two issues are intertwined, but the first issue is in a sense more fundamental. I am going to show that the specific/nonspecific distinction is semantic. In this chapter, I will focus on various linguistic phenomena to establish that conclusion. The actual analysis of specific indefinites and the explanation of the phenomena that specific indefinites generate will be developed in the following chapter.