Indefinite noun phrases in Turkish
Ph.D. Dissertation, 1997
This work investigates some properties of accusative marked indefinite
direct objects in Turkish, such as their syntactic position, interpretation
and semantic category. A VP-external indefinite NP with accusative case
gets a specific reading whereas a VP-internal one lacking accusative case
gets a nonspecific reading. This correlation between accusative case and
the specificity of an indefinite is drawn in Enç (1991). Enç's
notion of specificity is that of discourse-linked in Pesetsky (1987).
I introduce another class of specific indefinites with accusative case
in Turkish. These out-of-the-blue specific indefinites are separate from
concealed partitive and relational specific indefinites presented in Enc
(1991). I argue that they are accommodated and thus are discourse-linked.
Therefore, they provide further evidence for the correlation above. I
argue, contra Diesing (1990, 1992b), that accusative case on indefinite
direct objects in Turkish should not be equated with quantification since
their scope behavior contrasts with that of genuine quantifiers. Moreover,
such association must posit ambiguity in the quantificational force of
Turkish free choice items, which must bear accusative case and can have
an overt paraphrase. These items get an existential reading when licensed
by negation but get a universal reading when licensed by a modal. This
work treats free choice and negative polarity items as variables. Since
accusative carrying free choice items and similarly negative polarity
items must appear in the scope of the nonquantificational operator negation,
which has only a nuclear scope, they map into the nuclear scope of negation.
This fact demonstrates that, contra Diesing, a specific NP can appear
in the nuclear scope of a partitioned sentence. Moreover, given the VP-external
position of these direct objects, the nuclear scope of negation must also
extend beyond the VP. Thus, I argue for a relativization of Diesing's
Mapping Hypothesis depending on the operator at hand. Consequently, the
nuclear scope of a partitioned sentence can extend beyond the VP.
about the Department?
Questions/Comments about this website?