Sunday, 3 May 2015

Misconstruing Non-Specific Deixis As Reference

Martin (1992: 109):
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, any was typically used in Old English in interrogative, hypothetical or conditional clauses, where the participant referred to has a speculative existence.  So it seems a natural development for this item to extend its meaning to take over the dismissive 'it doesn't matter who' reference referred to as [unrestricted].

Blogger Comments:

This confuses the deictic function of determiners — indicating whether or not a specific subset of a Thing is intended — with their referential function.  Unlike genuine reference items, non-specific determiners like any and some do not present an element as identifiable.

And for the record:

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