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Abstract

This chapter examines the morphosyntactic and semantic/pragmatic properties of descriptive pronouns in European Portuguese, a set of NP s that refer to the addressee and are formed by the definite article and a noun. These forms display a bundle of conventional meaning components not previously described: (i) they refer to the addressee (deictic component), (ii) the property conveyed by the noun is predicated of the addressee (property component), and (iii) the speaker expresses social distance towards the addressee (expressive component). While the deictic meaning is primary content, the property and expressive meanings are secondary contents. I analyze descriptive pronouns as mixed use-conditional items and discuss the theoretical status of their secondary contents.