Determiners and relative clauses


  • Paola Benincà University of Padua


Bare nouns, kind-­defining relative clauses, silent quantifiers


In the present paper, I consider first the behaviour of singular count nouns, showing that, in the limited set of contexts in which they are found, a specific kind of modification is in many cases necessary. The modification is represented by a variant of a kind defining relative clause. I briefly outline the main syntactic and semantic characteristics of kind-­defining relatives; I then consider bare plural count nouns and singular mass nouns; I use the Left Dislocation construction as a test that permits us to explore the composition of the DP, and to localise the position of a silent operator. I show that, in this context too, the modifiers that permit the determiner to be omitted can be semantically interpreted as corresponding to a kind-­defining relative. Finally, I examine the so-­called partitive DPs introduced by di+article, which are often considered in the literature to be semantically equivalent to bare nouns, and I show that they are instead different, both semantically and syntactically; incidentally, this permits us to point out a minimal difference between French and Italian.


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How to Cite

Benincà P. (2014). Determiners and relative clauses. IBERIA: An International Journal of Theoretical Linguistics, 4(1), 92–109. Retrieved from