Uniqueness in languages with and without articles: Catalan vs. Russian

Daria Seres, Joan Borràs-Comes, M.Teresa Espinal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The article compares the interpretation of singular topical nominals in Romance (Catalan) and Slavic (Russian), and its relation to the presence/absence of the article in the overt morphosyntax. The empirical study, presented in this paper, confirmed the theoretical prediction that in Catalan the presence of a definite article conveys uniqueness of the referent, while an indefinite article suggests nonuniqueness. In the absence of articles (in Russian), bare nominals are compatible with both a uniqueness and a non-uniqueness interpretation. The reading of a bare noun phrase is inferred pragmatically, depending on contextual factors and the background knowledge of the interlocutors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-195
Number of pages33
JournalBeyond Philology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021


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