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This volume edited by Tabea Ihsane focuses on different aspects of the distribution, semantics, and internal structure of nominal constituents with a “partitive article” in its indefinite interpretation and of potentially corresponding bare nouns. It further deals with diachronic issues, such as grammaticalization and evolution in the use of “partitive articles”.
The outcome is a snapshot of current research into “partitive articles” and the way they relate to bare nouns, in a cross-linguistic perspective and on new data: the research covers noteworthy data (fieldwork data and corpora) from Standard languages - like French and Italian, but also German - to dialectal and regional varieties, including endangered ones like Francoprovençal.


In this paper, we analyze sentences with a des-complement, that is, a complement introduced by a so-called “partitive article” in the plural, and focus on the impact of this complement on the (a)telicity of the eventuality. Although des-complements generally occur in atelic sentences, we discuss some telic situations in which they are possible. To explain the acceptability of such sentences, we examine various semantic properties of these complements which could play a role in the telic interpretation, such as the presence/absence of an implicit quantity expression in the complement, their type of reference (quantized vs. cumulative; individuated) and specificity. We propose that the des-complements found in telic situations involve a quantity that is known and that this “knowledge” can be formalized in terms of epistemic specificity, as defined in Von Heusinger (2002a, 2002b and subsequent developments).

Open Access
In: Disentangling Bare Nouns and Nominals Introduced by a Partitive Article
In: Disentangling Bare Nouns and Nominals Introduced by a Partitive Article