On the Absence of Certain Quantifiers in Mohawk

  • Mark C. Baker
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 54)


One characteristic of the Mohawk language1 from a comparative standpoint is that it does not have a set of quantified NPs found in English. In particular, Mohawk has no elements directly comparable to ‘everyone’ and ‘everything’, ‘nobody’ and ‘nothing’ — nominal elements which cannot be interpreted as referential. It will be suggested that this gap in Mohawk can be derived from general structural properties of the language. Mohawk is, in the terminology of Jelinek (1984), a “pronominal argument language”. In such languages, the relations among the parts of a sentence are established by pronominal coreference rather than by direct complementation. From this it follows that non-referential NPs are not allowed in such languages. The relevant principles must, however, be stated with some care so that they do not rule out similar structures which are found in Mohawk, including indefinite NPs, quantificational adverbs, sloppy identity constructions, and constituent questions.


Relative Clause Argument Position Count Noun Plural Pronoun Null Pronoun 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark C. Baker
    • 1
  1. 1.McGill UniversityUSA

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