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Information StructureTheoretical, Typological, and Experimental Perspectives$
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Malte Zimmermann and Caroline Féry

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570959

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570959.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 December 2020

The interpretation of topical indefinites as direct and indirect aboutness topics

The interpretation of topical indefinites as direct and indirect aboutness topics

(p.89) 5 The interpretation of topical indefinites as direct and indirect aboutness topics
Information Structure

Cornelia Ebert

Stefan Hinterwimmer

Oxford University Press

The Interpretation of Topical Indefinites as Direct and Indirect Aboutness Topics’ by Cornelia Ebert and Stefan Hinterwimmer deals with the interpretation of sentences that contain indefinite DPs marked as topics. It has often been observed that topical indefinites can be interpreted in either of the following ways: (i.) they receive widest scope (in episodic sentences); (ii.) they are interpreted generically (in sentences with generic tense); (iii.) they induce so‐called Quantificational Variability Effects (in the presence of adverbial quantifiers). These three observations have not been systematically related to each other so far. The contribution of the paper consists in showing that the three readings that are in principle available to topical indefinites can be based on a single underlying principle, which is responsible for the interpretive effect of topicality in the context of adverbial quantifiers and generic operators as well as in combination with determiner quantifiers.

Keywords:   Semantics, Information Structure, Topicality, Quantificational Variability, Quantifiers, Left Dislocation

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