The Indefiniteness of Definiteness

This paper is about the difficulties involved in establishing criteria for definiteness. A number of possibilities are considered – traditional ones such as strength, uniqueness, and familiarity, as well as several which have been suggested in the wake of Montague’s analysis of NPs as generalized quantifiers. My tentative conclusion is that Russell’s uniqueness characteristic (suitably modified) holds up well against the others
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Barbara Abbott (2004). Definiteness and Indefiniteness. In Laurence R. Horn & Gregory Ward (eds.), Handbook of Pragmatics. Blackwell Publishing
Allen Stairs (1992). Value-Definiteness and Contextualism: Cut and Paste with Hilbert Space. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:91 - 103.

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