REFERENTIALITY IN NOUN PHRASES AND RELATIVE PRONOUNS

Chiaki Kumamoto

Abstract

This paper examines the use of who and which with human antecedents in non-restrictive relative clauses. Apart from the cases where the antecedent is a property NP, the contexts that require which are claimed to be those where the antecedent is a non-specifi c NP (Kuno 1970, Declerck 1991). However, the use of which is not limited to these cases. Moreover, there are cases where which is not allowed even though the antecedent is a non-specifi c NP. I will argue that in order to fully account for the choice between who and which, it is crucial to consider not only the referentiality and the specifi city of the antecedent NP but also the semantic function that the relative pronoun plays in the clause, specifi cally, whether it is a referential NP, a property NP, or an NP involving a variable.

Keywords

copular sentences; existential sentences; relative pronouns; referential/non-referential distinction; noun phrases involving a variable

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References

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https://doi.org/10.5817/DI2015-2-49


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