| Arden Reference Grammar > Morphology > Definiteness | Previous | Next |
Definiteness is marked by means of the stress. Regular words have penultimate stress when they are indefinite and word-final stress when they are definite. As to the irregular words, stems with antipenultimate stress (which are mostly borrowed nouns) are not sensible to definiteness, whereas stems with word-final stress and monosyllabic stressed words are ambiguous in their uniflected form, but behave as regular stems when inflected.
For nouns, definiteness encodes referentiality. A definite noun is employed when the referent is known or identifiable by the listener.
For verbs, the semantic entailments of definiteness are somewhat less precise, and must be specified on a form by form basis.
Imperative. The indefinite imperative expresses a general precept or a piece of advice. The definite imperative is for actual commands.
Present. The indefinite present encodes a general state or action, or an habitual action. The definite present expresses an ongoing action (present progressive).
Past. The indefinite past expresses a past state or action. The definite past conveys an action that was ongoing at the time considered (past progressive).
Future. The indefinite future corresponds to the conditional and irrealis moods. The definite future encodes an action or state expected to happen or become true at a future time.
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