Pseudo-Incorporated Antecedents and Anaphora in Persian: The Influence of Stereotypical Knowledge

Fereshteh Modarresi, Manfred Krifka


There are different theories about the nature of pseudo-incorporated nouns (PINs), which feature a non-specific, number-neutral interpretation. For a proper analysis it is crucial to take their anaphoric potential into account. This paper investigates if and how PINs introduce discourse referents, with evidence from Persian, and which theory matches this behavior best. We report on experiments in which the stereotypical enrichment of the number-neutral interpretation was systematically varied with two types of biases — towards a singular or a plural interpretation — and in the neutral case, when such a bias is lacking. The results of the experiments are compatible with Krifka & Modarresi (2016), which considers PIN objects as dependent singular definites (similar to weak definites) within existential closure over an event variable.


semantics; pragmatics; psycholinguistics; anaphoric reference; weak definites; pseudo-incorporation

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Copyright (c) 2021 Fereshteh Modarresi, Manfred Krifka

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