Topic: HUMAN SEMANTICS
By Ora Matushansky & Benjamin Spector
We examine the distribution and interpretation of post-copular noun phrases in French when they appear with and without an indefinite article (Marie est (une) physicienne). We propose that the alternation is due to the fact that the indefinite article marks saturation of an NP-internal argument slot, and show that because of this, post-copular indefinite NPs are usually but not always existentially quantified, while bare NPs are predicative. This theory leads to new perspectives both on cross-linguistic marking of post-copular NPs and on the treatment of the indefinite article.
Source: Semantics Archive