Natural Language Semantics

, 17:369

Possession and pertinence: the meaning of have


DOI: 10.1007/s11050-009-9047-5

Cite this article as:
Sæbø, K.J. Nat Lang Semantics (2009) 17: 369. doi:10.1007/s11050-009-9047-5


The meaning of have is notoriously difficult to define; sometimes it seems to denote possession, but often, it seems to denote nothing, only to complicate composition. This paper focuses on the cases where have embeds a small clause, proposing that all it accomplishes is abstraction, turning the small clause into a predicate. This analysis is extended to the cases where have appears to embed DPs: These objects are interpreted as small clauses as well, with implicit predicates denoting possession or—with relational nouns—nothing.


Possession Pertinence Abstraction Binding Relational 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ILOSUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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