Ongoing research on different aspects of specificity has contributed to a better understanding of the referential potential of indefinite noun phrases at the semantics-pragmatics interface. Furthermore, many studies have established a considerable body of cross-linguistic expressions and constructions that can be related to different types of specificity. The close interaction of in-depth description of particular linguistic phenomena and contrasts with theoretical models of specificity has been very fruitful. However, there are still many open questions, such as

  1. how are the different types of specificity related to each other?
  2. what are the interactions of specificity with other semantic-pragmatic categories such as referentiality, definiteness and genericity?
  3. what is the exact range of linguistic phenomena related to specificity and what are reliable tests?
  4. can we associate different ways of encoding specificity, i.e. by lexical items, by morphology, by syntax, by phonology etc. with distinct properties of specificity?

This homepage should inform researchers interested in the theoretical approaches to specificity as well as researchers working in different languages on referential categories about recent publications and upcoming events related to specificity. Everybody working on this field is invited to send us information that will be posted on this side.


Prof. Dr. Klaus von Heusinger
Universität Stuttgart
Institut für Linguistik - Germanistik
Room: 1.036
Keplerstr. 17
D-70174 Stuttgart