Possible topic for collaboration: Combination of definiteness (familiarity?) + indefiniteness (specificity?) markers in German and Akan (Mira)

In Ngamo, Hausa, Akan, Ga and several other languages (e.g., Serbo-Croatian, see Arsenijević 2018) a familiarity definite or demonstrative co-occurs with what is usually a marker of indefiniteness or specificity (see e.g. Duah, Grubic, Renans 2021). In our paper, we identify different readings that we found in different languages and suggest that the pattern we find is due to differences in the use and meaning of the respective definiteness and specificity markers:

  • Anaphoric :  …a certain man …. that (certain) man
  • Recognitional: do you remember that (certain) man? the one who….
  • Complement anaphoric: a man … the other man

Generally, I would be interested in a collaboration investigating indefiniteness / specificity first, in languages which have this co-occurrence pattern. I’d be particularly interested in looking at German first (“dieser gewisse/bestimmte…” — see e.g., Ebert, Ebert & Hinterwimmer 2009 as well as later work for the indefinite readings), but would also be interested in continuing to look at Akan, in the light of recent work e.g. by Owusu (2019, 2021).

Notify of
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x