Uniqueness and maximality in German and Polish: A production experiment
Radek Simik, Christoph Demian
April 2021

According to a prominent hypothesis word order manipulations in Slavic languages without articles can correspond to the use of definite or indefinite articles in languages that have them. We test this hypothesis using a production design in which participants build sentential picture descriptions from provided constituents. The crucial question is whether articles in German and word order in Polish are sensitive to visually depicted uniqueness or maximality of reference. We fail to find support for the article–word order correspondence; while the use of articles in German is sensitive to uniqueness/maximality, the use of word order in Polish is not.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005191
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in Mojmír Dočekal and Marcin Wągiel (eds.), Formal approaches to number in Slavic and beyond. Berlin: Language Science Press.
keywords: uniqueness, maximality, definiteness, articles, word order, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v2 [March 2021]
v1 [May 2020]
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