Nouns with (intrinsically) unique referents in object position
To code for all possibilities, and for ease of the task, there are five property definitions for
nouns with (intrinsically) unique referent in object position:
can be 'bare', must have an 'article', can have an 'article', must have a 'special article'
w07_a: Nouns with (intrinsically) unique referents can be bare in object position
This property is set to 'yes' if an unmodified noun with intrinsically unique reference (e.g. sun, earth, sky, equator, ...) can be 'bare' in object position.
A bare noun phrase, for the purposes of this set of properties,
- lacks an article (e.g. a ,definite an indefinite or a partitive article, i.e. English of+art, French de+art, Italian di+art, etc)
- (for languages without articles) exhibits no alternation in form with indefinite (singular count) nouns in object position (i.e. intrinsically unique nouns and indefinite (singular count nouns) in object position have the same form)
NOTE for languages without articles = if nouns with intrinsically unique reference in object position have the same form as definite (singular or plural count) nouns in object position, and this form is different than that of indefinite (singular or plural count) nouns in object position, this counts as "article"
[ More contexts]
John observed ______ moon
A cloud covered ______ sun
The balloon reached ______ sky
The noun must have an intrinsically unique referent and must be unmodified (no quantifiers, no adjectives, no possessors, no relative clauses, no adpositional complements...)
Russian in “yes” for this property: nouns with intrinsically unique reference can be bare in object position.
||Ivan studied the moon
There is no difference in case form between nouns with intrinsically unique reference and (definite or indefinite) singular count nouns in object position (ii).
||Students were asked to draw insects. Ivan draw the/a bee.
English is “no” for this property: nouns with intrinsically unique reference cannot be bare in object position (i).
i. a. *John observed moon
b. *A cloud covered sun
c. *The balloon reached sky
They must have a (definite) article (ii).
ii. a. John observed the moon
b. A cloud covered the sun
c. The balloon reached the sky
They cannot have an indefinite article (iii) [with the exception of marked pragmatic interpretations] .
iii. a. *John observed a moon
b. *A cloud covered a sun
c. *The balloon reached a sky