Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Functional Entities —and that ain’t the half of it!

Almerindo E. Ojeda


Like many other languages, Spanish may specify fractionary nouns with definite articles (cf. la mitad). This fact seems to violate the presupposition of uniqueness generally assigned to the definite article, as no fraction may exist without another one (halves, in particular, come in pairs). But this violation is only apparent—at least if we assume that these fractionary nouns denote fractioning operations (rather than the results thereof) and occur in partitive (rather than attributive) constructions. These proposals can be justified independently, and extend to numeral noun constructions that did not survive into Contemporary Spanish.

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