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131097Re: Articles and the Givenness Hierarchy

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  • Paul Bennett
    May 1 12:03 PM
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      On Sun, 01 May 2005 13:33:00 -0400, Roger Mills <rfmilly@...> wrote:

      > Looking for your lost dog, you approach a stranger: Have you seen a dog?
      > (You could describe it a little bit, but you could delay that pending an
      > answer 'yes'.)
      > You ask your neighbor: Have you seen my dog? (If you have more than one
      > dog,
      > you'd have to be more specific)-- One thing that has stuck in my mind
      > from
      > Indo. and relatives: a possessed form is _by its very nature_ definite;
      > so
      > are personal names.
      > You ask a family member: Have you seen the dog?
      > This 3-way distinction was certainly in my mind while I worked on Kash,

      There's a similar grammatical distinction in Spanish, IIRC, that can be
      approximated in English by comparing:

      I'm looking for a waiter.
      (Neither speaker nor hearer should know or care which)

      I'm looking for a particular waiter.
      (Speaker knows and cares which, does not expect hearer to)

      I'm looking for the waiter.
      (Speaker knows and cares which, and expects hearer to do so too)

      The distinction is marked by "un" ~ "a un" ~ "el" as I understand it.

      AFMCL, this three-way distinction is planned for inclusion in Thagojian. I
      think it will be marked with {zero} ~ "oÿnu" (ου̂s) ~ "ha" (ϩα), but I
      have yet to nail it down firmly.

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