Noun classifiers and the composition of DP in Chuj: The core of unique definites, anaphoric definites, and specific indefinites
Justin Royer
July 2019

This paper explores the semantic and syntactic distribution of noun classifiers in Chuj, an understudied Mayan language. I show that noun classifiers appear in a wide range of semantic and syntactic environments, surfacing within (i) unique definite DPs, (ii) anaphoric definite DPs, (iii) specific indefinite DPs, and as (iv) third person pronouns. I propose that despite their wide distribution, noun classifiers are best analyzed as unique (or weak) definite determiners and that the interpretations in (ii)-(iv) are derivable from their underlying unique definite semantics. The result is a unified account of noun classifiers, which derives the different flavours of definiteness and specificity described in (i)-(iv) compositionally. In accounting for the understudied distribution of noun classifiers, this paper sheds light on the cross-linguistic mechanisms behind the composition of DP and establishes a shared semantic core between unique definites, anaphoric definites, and specific indefinites.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004684
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Mansucript
keywords: definiteness, specific indefinites, singleton indefinites, classifiers, pronouns, definites, indefinites, typology, mayan, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v2 [July 2019]
v1 [July 2019]
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