The Non-strang-definiteness Condition on Distributivity

  • Joh, Yoon-Kyoung (Department of Linguistics, 619 Williams Hall, University of Pennsylvania)
  • Published : 2008.12.31


This paper examines a condition that licenses distributivity. Choe (1987) and Link (1998) have proposed an indefiniteness condition on distributivity. However, detecting counter-examples, Zimmermann (2002) has argued for a non-specificity condition. This paper primarily revises the indefiniteness/non-specificity condition. Observing that the systematic class of the exceptions belongs to weak definites proposed by Poesio (1994), I claim that the property that constrains distributivity is non-strong-definiteness. Based on Landman (2000), I further explain the non-strong-definiteness condition and argue that the condition does not need to be imposed on the grammar independently. The new condition naturally accounts for Spector's (2003) scopal asymmetry. Even more, defining donkey pronouns as weak definites, I cope with various properties of donkey sentences.