w07_d Nouns with (intrinsically) unique referents in object position must have a 'special article'

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    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_d: Nouns with (intrinsically) unique referents must have a special article in object position

This property is set to 'yes' if an unmodified noun with intrinsically unique reference (e.g. sun, earth, sky, equator, ...) must occur with a special article in object position.

For the purpose of this set of properties, by special article we mean an item (or a specific “case” form) that must occur with nouns with intrinsically unique reference, in subject or object position, but is not compatible with singular count nouns in subject or object position.
[ More contexts]

Elicitation contexts

John observed ______ moon
A cloud covered ______ sun
The balloon reached ______ sky

Additional instructions

The noun must have an intrinsically unique referent and must be unmodified (no quantifiers, no adjectives, no possessors, no relative clauses, no adpositional complements...)



Frisian is “yes” for this property: nouns with intrinsically unique reference must have the special article a/at (i).

i. a sun
the sun
the sun

They never occur with the definite article di/det/dön (ii).

ii. *di sun
the sun
the sun

They also never occur bare (iii).

iii. *sun


English is “no” for this property: in object position, there is no special article with nouns with intrinsically unique reference: they must occur with a definite article.

i.   a. John observed the moon
     b. A cloud covered the sun
     c. The balloon reached the sky

Contributed by: Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
Language Value Contributor Comments
   Ancient Greek No Cristina Guardiano
   Armenian (Eastern) No Sona Haroutyunian
   Basaa No Paul Roger Bassong
   Calabrian (Northern) No Giuseppina Silvestri
   Cantonese (Guangzhou) No Zixian Qiu
   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
   Faroese No Hjalmar Páll Petersen
   French No Hilda Koopman
   French (Ivorian) No Akpoué Josué
   Gothic No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Greek No Giorgos Spathas
  Contributor: Giorgos Spathas
   Greek (Calabria) No Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Cappadocian) No Petros Karatsareas
   Greek (Homer) No Cristina Guardiano
   Hebrew (Biblical) No Massimo Gargiulo
   Italian No Cristina Guardiano
   Italian (Reggiano) No Giovanni Roversi
   Korean No Shin-Sook Kim
   Kusaal No Hasiyatu Abubakari
   Latin No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Muyang No Bebey Théodore
   Oluwanga (Eji) No Ceciliane Odangah
   Portuguese No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Romanian No Monica Alexandrina Irimia
   Russian No Nina Radkevich
   Sicilian No Cristina Guardiano
   Spanish No Alejandro Rodriguez
   Teramano No Iara Mantenuto
   Tupi (Ancient) No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Turkish No Sozen Ozkan
   Vietnamese No Jimmy Nguyen
   Wuhu Chinese No Zhuo Chen