A question about Turkish and indefinites

Godehard Link glink at CIS.UNI-MUENCHEN.DE
Tue Oct 20 13:07:35 UTC 1998

Dear everybody:

Enc's partitive analysis of specific readings of indefinites
has become widely known (M. Enc 1991: The semantics of
specificity. LI 22.1-25). However, doubts about it have been
raised by B. Abbott, Referentiability, specificity,
strength,and individual concepts, WCCFL12: 473-485
(E. Duncan et al., eds., CSLI Publications, Stanford),
among others.

In this connection, it would be helpful to have access to the
relevant data of Turkish, partly on which Enc rests her case.
Her crucial example is:

(1) Several children entered my room. I knew two
   a. girls-ACC (kiz-i; girls among the children);
   b. girls (kiz; girls excluded from the set of children)

Now to those of you who speak Turkish: how would you translate
the following variation of (1), viz.

(2) Several children entered my room. I wanted to interview two
   a. girls-ACC (kiz-i)
   b. girls (kiz)

Are both a and b possible? And what do they mean in terms
of specificity and/or inclusion in the group? It would seem that
(2a), if possible, should allow for a nonspecific reading and
yet give inclusion in the group of children.

Claudia Gerstner-Link
University of Munich, Germany
email: glink at cis.uni-muenchen.de

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