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What is definite identifiability?



Definite identifiability is a kind of definiteness which indicates that an expression’s referent(s) is in some way identifiable to both speaker and addressee.


The referent is identifiable because of a shared knowledge or situation, including a previous mention of the referent.

Examples (English)
  • the
  • he
  Definite is a kind of

Pei and Gaynor 1954 53


Anderson, S. 1985 179


Lyons 1968 276


Mish 1991 334


Hawkins, J. 1978 202

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Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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