Thursday, 7 May 2015

On Indefinite Nominal Groups Under The Scope Of Negation Not Realising A Participant

Martin (1992: 130):
Indefinite nominal groups under the scope of negation were also considered above, where it was pointed out that they do not provide referents for presuming groups.  The reason for this is that they do not introduce participants to a discourse:
[3:66] He didn't see anyone there.

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, indefinite nominal groups do not include reference items.  The confusion arises from mistaking interpersonal deixis for textual reference.

[2] This is demonstrably false, even in its own terms.  Consider the following:
He didn't see any colleagues in the public bar, but soon found them in the beer garden.
In this unremarkable example, the indefinite nominal group any colleagues introduces a participant to a discourse, which then provides a referent for the personal reference item them.

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