This paper focuses on some issues involving expletive articles and long weak definites in Romance (mainly Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Catalan), in comparison to DPs that elicit a strong reading. We show the similarities between expletive definites and long weak definites, and we argue for an analysis in common to other polarity items in terms of polarity sensitivity. We reach the conclusion that the definite article in Romance comes in two variants: the referentially unique variant (to be translated as the semantic iota operator) and the polar variant, formally characterized with an abstract [+σ] feature, that encodes a weak bound reading (to be semantically translated by an existential operator).
definite articles, expletive articles, long weak definites, polar items, Romance
How to Cite
Espinal, M. & Cyrino, S., (2017) “The definite article in Romance expletives and long weak definites”, Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 2(1), p.23. doi: https://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.160