Glossary of Linguistic Terms

Indefiniteness

Definition: 

Indefiniteness is a kind of definiteness indicating that the referent(s) of an expression are not presumed to be identifiable.

The referent is not identifiable because of a lack of shared knowledge or situation, including no previous mention of the referent.

Discussion: 

Certain demonstratives and pronouns often are used to indicate indefiniteness.

Examples: 

(English)

Here are some examples of words that indicate indefiniteness:

  • a
  • some
  • somebody
See Also: