Klaus von Heusinger at Fishfeed (24.11.2020)

This Tuesday (24.11) at 14.15,  Klaus von Heusinger from the University of Cologne will hold a talk entitled “Indefinite demonstratives – specificity, referentiality and discourse prominence”. The talk will be held on zoom. 

The abstract of the talk can be found below below. 


The presentation will examine the relationships between referential domains accounting for the functions of the two indefinite demonstrative expressions dies (‘this‘) and son (lit. ‘such-a‘) in German. A distinction is made between referentiality, specificity and discourse prominence. Referentiality refers to the semantic properties of nominal phrases that have to do with scope, with behavior in modal or intentional contexts in the sentence, and with the introduction of discourse referents. Specificity covers a number of phenomena that are perhaps best described by the speaker’s “referential intention“. Finally, discourse prominence is a general term for various discourse properties of nominal phrases, such as discourse topic, prominence, anaphoricity or accessibility. This aspect has more to do with the speaker-listener interaction. The presentation will report from different experiments and present an original semantic representation of indefinite demonstratives that accounts for their semantic, pragmatic and discourse properties.

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