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Indefinite Eigennamen in generischen Sätzen: Quantifikation über Manifestationen von Individuen 

Zurück zum Heft: Linguistische Berichte Heft 217
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This paper aims at an analysis of a certain type of use of proper names that appears particularly widespread in German (as well as in French or Spanish, but not in English). While proper names are generally regarded as being inherently definite, in German one frequently finds proper names preceded by the indefinite article. This construction is most popular when human beings of great public interest are referred to. This type of sentences forms minimal pairs with others in which the definite article appears, or else simply the bare proper name (the latter difference being basically a matter of dialectal variation). Our analysis of indefinite proper names will assume that they involve generic quantification over ,,manifestations" of individuals.