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w04c_Def sing count Ns in O position: can have an article

Definition
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    Definite singular count nouns in object position

    To code for all possibilities, and for ease of the task, there are three property definitions for definite singular count nouns in object position:

    can be 'bare', must have an 'article', can have an 'article'


Definite singular count nouns in object position can have an article


This property is set to 'yes' if an unmodified, definite, morphologically singular count noun in object position can (but does not have to):

  1. occur with an article or a demonstrative
  2. (for languages without articles but with classifiers, noun classes, case, adpositional endings, etc) exhibit structural alternation with noun phrases containing:
    1. an indefinite singular count noun, and/or
    2. a definite plural count noun

Elicitation context
I met two boys and a girl. I called ____ girl
[ More contexts]

Additional instructions

  1. The definite singular count noun must be unmodified (no quantifiers, no adjectives, no possessors, no relative clauses, no adpositional complements, etc)
  2. The sentence is affirmative, NOT negative, interrogative, etc (if you notice any difference between affirmative and negative/interrogative contexts, please comment, or contact us)
  3. The following classes of nouns should NOT be considered when checking this property:
    1. proper names (the teacher saw John, I visited London)
    2. kinship nouns (John called mom)
    3. abstract nouns (John finds love everywhere)
    4. collective nouns (Italy changed government last week, I saw people at the party)
    5. singular nouns of chemical elements or other physical entities (I put oxygen in the tank)
    6. singular nouns of arts and sciences (I love chemistry)
    7. home
  4. If there is more than one object position in your language, test this property for each position

Examples

1.

Akan is 'yes'€ for this property: count singular nouns in object position require a visible article when their referent is familiar (Arkoh and Matthewson 2013; the referent of a noun phrase is familiar if at the time of the utterance the speakers takes the existence of the referent to already be present in the common ground of the discourse, 5).

  • Kòfí á-fa tám nW
    Kofi PFV-take cloth FAM
    " Kofi has taken the cloth "

Non-familiar definite nouns can be bare (Arkoh and Matthewson 2013: 8, ex 20b).


2.

English is 'no' for this property: definite singular count nouns in object position cannot be bare (i). The definite article (the) is obligatory (ii).

    1. Context: I met two boys and a girl. * I called girl
    2. Context: There was a book and a pen on the table. *he took book, but he left pen
    1. Context: I met two boys and a girl. I called the girl
    2. Context: There was a book and a pen on the table. he took the book, but he left the pen

3.

Rumanian is 'no'€™™ for this property: definite singular count nouns in object position cannot be bare.

i.

  • * am întâlnit profesor
    have.AUX.3.SG.INDIC.PRES meet.PST.PRT professor
    intended: " I have met the teacher "

The definite article (ul) is obligatory.

ii.

  • am întâlnit profesor-ul
    have.AUX.3.SG.INDIC.PRES meet.PST.PRT professor-the
    " I ha€™ve met the teacher "

3.

Basque is 'no'€™™ for this property: definite singular count nouns in object position cannot be bare.

i.

  • * irakasle topatu nuen
    * teacher found 1.AUX.PAST
    Intended: " I met the teacher "

The article (a) (ii.a), or a demonstrative (ii.b), is obligatory.

ii.a

  • irakasle-a topatu nuen
    teacher-A found 1.AUX.PAST
    " I met the teacher "

ii.b

  • irakasle hau topatu nuen
    teacher this found 1.AUX.PAST
    " I met this teacher "

5.

Wolof is 'no' for this property: definite singular count nouns in object position cannot be bare.

i.a

  • * gis na-a xaj
    see FIN-1 dog
    intended: " I saw the dog "

i.b

  • * jàng na-a téére
    read FIN-1 book
    intended: " I read the book "

A definite article (i), preceded by a noun class agreement marker, is obligatory with definite singular count noun objects (Tamba, Torrence, Zimmermann, 2012).

ii.a

  • gis na-a xaj b-i
    see FIN-1 dog NCL-DEF
    " I saw the dog "

ii.b

  • jàng na-a téére b-i
    read FIN-1 book NCL-DEF
    " I read the book "

6.

Cantonese is 'no'€ for this property: definite singular count nouns in object position cannot be bare.

i.

  • * gaa ce zo-zyu ceot hau
    CL car block-CONT exit
    Intended: " The car is blocking the exit "

They require a classifier (CL) (Cheng & Sybersma 1999: 521, ex 19a).

ii.

  • gaa ce zo-zyu go ceot hau
    CL car block-CONT CL exit
    " The car is blocking the exit "

7.

Russian is '€˜no'€ for this property: definite singular count nouns in object position never require an article. A singular count noun with accusative case is compatible to both an indefinite and a definite interpretation, thus counting as bare.

i.a

  • Ja vstretila sobaku
    I meet.PST.FEM.SG dog.ACC.SG
    " I met the dog " (can also mean I met a dog)

i.b

  • Ja proCitala knigu
    I read.PST.FEM.SG book.ACC.SG
    " I read the book " (can also mean I read a book)

i.c

  • Ja vstretil uCitelja
    I meet.PST.MASC.SG teacher.ACC.SG
    " I met the teacher " (can also mean I met a teacher)
Contributed by: Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
Language Value Contributor Comments
   Akan-twi No AUGUSTINA OWUSU
   Amharic No Hilda Koopman
   Ancient Greek No Cristina Guardiano
   Armenian (Eastern) No Sona Haroutyunian
+ Basaa Yes Paul Roger Bassong
  Words: Mɛ ń- lamá kébél ŋgwɔ́ OR: Mɛ ń- lamá kébél í ŋgwɔ́ i
  Gloss: I PRS-must feed 9.dog OR: I PRS-must feed AUG 9.dog 9.DEM
  Translation: I must feed the/that dog
  Comment: Speaker A and Speaker B have a dog. The dog is outside, in the garden, and it is barking. Speaker A says: I must feed the dog. In some (?limited) context the augment and demonstrative can be used felicitously)
  Contributor: Paul Roger Bassong
   Basque No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Calabrian (Northern) No Giuseppina Silvestri
+ Cantonese (Guangzhou) Yes Zixian Qiu
  Words: There was a book and a pen on the table. ngo lo-zo (go) bun syu, daanhai ngo lau-dai-zo (go) zi bat.
  Gloss: I take-PFV (that) CLF book. but I leave-PEF-PFV (go) CLF pen.
  Translation: I took the book, but I left the pen.
  Comment: The demonstrative “go”(“that”) may or may not be present.
  Contributor: Zixian Qiu
   Catalan No Victoria Mateu
   Chickasaw No Pam Munro
+ Croatian No Daniela Culinovic
  Words: Context: I met two boys and a girl. Pozvala sam djevojku.
  Gloss: call.PST.PTCP.FEM have.PRS.1SG girl.ACC
  Translation: I called the girl.
  Contributor: Daniela Culinovic
   Cypriot Greek No Marios Andreou
   Danish No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Dida Lakota (diéko) No Gohon Fabienne Stéphanie Attéby
   Dutch No Hilda Koopman
+ English No the property authors
  Words: I met two boys and a girl. * I called girl
  Contributor: the property authors
  Words: There was a book and a pen on the table. *he took book, but he left pen
  Contributor: the property authors
   Faroese No Hjalmar Páll Petersen
+ Farsi Yes Natasha Schimka
  Words: Ketâb-o khari-dam
  Gloss: Book-RA buy.1SG.PST
  Translation: I bought the book
  Contributor: Natasha Schimka
   French No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   French (Ivorian) Yes Akpoué Josué
   Garifuna No Pam Munro
   German No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Gothic Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Greek No Giorgos Spathas
  Words: Kale-sa *(to) koritsi.
  Gloss: call-1.SG.PST.PFV DEF.SG.ACC girl.SG.ACC
  Translation: I called the girl.
  Comment: Context: I met a boy and a girl.
  Contributor: Giorgos Spathas
   Greek (Calabria) No Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Cappadocian) No Petros Karatsareas
   Greek (Homer) Yes Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Pontic) No Cristina Guardiano and Dimitris Michelioudakis
   Guébie Yes Hannah Sande
   Hebrew No Assif Am-David
   Hebrew (Biblical) No Massimo Gargiulo
   Hungarian No Anna Szabolcsi
+ imbabura quichua Yes Pam Munro
  Words: Ishkay jari wambrakunata shuj warmi wambratapash rikurkani. Chay warmi wambrataka kayarkanimi.
  Gloss: TWO MALE CHILD.pl.acc ONE FEMALE CHILD.acc.AND SEE.pst.1 THAT FEMALE CHILD.acc.top CALL.pst.1.foc
  Translation: I saw two boys and a/one girl. I called to the girl
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
+ Italian No Cristina Guardiano
  Words: ho visto il cane
  Gloss: have.1S seen the dog
  Translation: I saw the dog
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
  Words: * ho visto cane
  Gloss: have.1S seen dog
  Translation: Intended: I saw the dog
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Italian (Napoletano Antico) No Adam Ledgeway
   Italian (Reggiano) No Giovanni Roversi
   Kannada (Bengaluru-Mysore) Yes Amrit Amritavalli
   Kashaya Yes John Gluckman
   KiLega No Kasangati Kinyalolo
+ Korean No Shin-Sook Kim
  Contributor: Shin-Sook Kim
+ Kusaal Yes Hasiyatu Abubakari
  Words: ᴐ sa pia tis dap la maa
  Gloss: 3Sg PRT speak give man.pl.NC DEF only
  Translation: I spoke to the men
  Contributor: Hasiyatu Abubakari
   Latin Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Latin (Late) Yes Chiara Gianollo Latin has no articles, but a demonstrative is possible
  Words: Ipsam ergo vallem nos traversare habebamus
  Gloss: this:ACC then valley:ACC PERS.PR.1SG.NOM cross:INF have:IPFV.1PL
  Translation: 'Therefore we had to cross that valley'
  Comment: (Itin. Eg. 2.1) - Itin. Eg. = Itinerarium Egeriae, 4th cent. CE, electronic LLT-A edition (=CCSL 175, P. Geyer / O. Cuntz, 1965, p. 37-90).
  Contributor: Chiara Gianollo
   Mada No Bebey Théodore
   Malagasy No Hilda Koopman
   Mandarin No Cristina Guardiano
   Muyang No Bebey Théodore
   nda'nda' No Bertille Baron
   Norwegian No Marit Julien
+ Nupe Yes Jason Kandybowicz
  Words: Musa wu nanko nana
  Gloss: Musa beat cow DEM
  Translation: Musa beat this cow.
  Comment: Possible in the context: 'I saw two goats and a cow. Musa beat __ cow.'
  Contributor: Jason Kandybowicz
   Old English No Willem Koopman
   Old French Yes Heather Burnett
   Old Saxon No George Walkden
+ Oluwanga (Eji) Yes Ceciliane Odangah
  Words: Nd -a-bukan-ire nende o-m-khana nende O- mu -sian. Nd -a -lang-ire o- mu -khana (oyo)
  Gloss: 1sg- PST -meet-PST with AUG- C2 -girl and AUG- C6 -boy. sg- PST -call- PST AUG- C2 -girl DEM
  Translation: I met a girl and a boy. I called the girl.
  Comment: see the comment under Baasa (w04c): a similar distribution may hold in Oluwanga, but further work is necessary to confirm this. .
  Contributor: Ceciliane Odangah
   Portuguese No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Q'anjob'al Yes Kathleen O'Flynn
   Romanian No Monica Alexandrina Irimia
   Russian No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Samoan No Hilda Koopman
+ Sicilian No Cristina Guardiano
  Words: supra o tàvulu c'èrinu na pìnna e nu kwatèrnu. Pigghjài a pìnna ma lassài u kwatèrnu
  Gloss: above the table there.were.3p a pen and a notebook. Took.1S the pen but left.1S the notebook
  Translation: there were a pen and a notebook on the table. I took the pen but I left the notebook
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
  Words: supra o tàvulu c'èrinu na pìnna e nu kwatèrnu. * Pigghjài pìnna ma lassài kwatèrnu
  Gloss: above the table there.were.3p a pen and a notebook. Took.1S pen but left.1S notebook
  Translation: Intended: there were a pen and a notebook on the table. I took the pen but I left the notebook
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Spanish No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Swedish No fredrik heinat
+ Teramano No Iara Mantenuto
  Words: la a la kutʃinə tʃi ʃta nu pollə e na pizzə. Lenə a kutʃinatə nu pollə ma a kumpratə na pizzə.
  Gloss: there at the kitchen there are a chicken and a pizza. Elena has cooked a chicken but she.has bought a pizza.
  Translation: in the kitchen there is chicken and pizza. Elena cooked the chicken but she bought the pizza.
  Contributor: Iara Mantenuto
  Words: la a la kutʃinə tʃi ʃta nu pollə e na pizzə. *Lenə a kutʃinitə pollə ma a kumpratə pizzə.
  Gloss: there at the kitchen there are a chicken and a pizza. Elena has cooked chicken but she.has bought pizza.
  Translation: in the kitchen there is chicken and pizza. Elena cooked the chicken but she bought the pizza.
  Contributor: Iara Mantenuto
   Tupi (Ancient) No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Turkish No Sozen Ozkan
   Vietnamese No Jimmy Nguyen
   Wolof No Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
   Wuhu Chinese Yes Zhuo Chen