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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hokuga.hgu.jp/dspace/handle/123456789/1265

Title: An Article on the Article
Authors: JONES, Willie
Keywords: article
definite
indefinite
Issue Date: 31-Mar-1997
Publisher: 北海学園大学人文学会
Abstract: The articles, definite and indefinite, are often given fairly short shrift in text-books, yet they are of philosophical as well as grammatical interest; they are of especial interest to teachers of the English language, since languages such as Japanese do not find a place for the articles in their lexicons nor appear to have much use for general concepts of definiteness in their daily communications. This essay seeks to treat the articles as terms worthy of serious consideration. To this end, and to explain the determining function of the articles in English, it first analyses examples of failures to use the articles correctly, and uses the examples to demonstrate how the indefinite article selects while the definite article confirms selection and isolates the item that has been selected. It considers the related issue of countability and uncountability, and goes on to analyse in some detail a set of carefully selected examples which demonstrate that the definite article is not an empty word-form (if that description is taken to signify a word without much content), but that it has a crucial, complementary function in pointing to and specifying the uniqueness and exclusivity-the ontological definiteness, if you like-of the terms to which it is attached.
URI: http://hokuga.hgu.jp/dspace/handle/123456789/1265
Appears in Collections:第08号

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