On the semantics of specification (a contrastive analysis of Russian and Italian).

2018. №4, 82-113

Olga Inkova a, b, @, Emilio Manzotti a, c
a Université de Genève, Geneva, 1211, Switzerland;
b Institute of Informatics Problems of the FRC CSC, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119333, Russian Federation;
c Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland; @ olga.inkova@unige.ch


The article deals with the logical-semantic relation of specification within the sentence and more generally in discourse. The authors propose as a first step a distinction between two classes of its manifestations: in praesentia and in absentia, and consequently between two semantic types of specification: intensional and extensional. The realization of the former is possible only in praesentia. On the basis of the analysis of specification markers in Russian and Italian, two types of extensional specification can be further distinguished: partial and exhaustive specification, plus four subtypes of the former: a) choice of a relevant element, b) differential choice, c) exemplification, and d) specific case or element. Within the intensional specification, two subtypes are here recognized: a) elaborate precision and b) precision sensu stricto. The analysis carried out thus allows the authors to propose a fully-fledged classification of the relation of specification and to ascribe it, together with the (symmetric) relation of generalization, to the group of mereological discourse relations.