The dissertation at hand deals with definiteness in Selkup. It is investigated how in Selkup – taking the three dialect groups North, Central and South Selkup into account – semantic-pragmatic definiteness is expressed, since the language lacks an explicit grammatical marker (like a definite article) for the expression of definiteness. The analysis is carried out on the basis of existing research literature, elicit data and a corpus, which is composed of 248 texts with 12,828 sentences and 77,443 tokens.
In its entirety, Selkup thus shows that demonstratives, possessive associations and the non-possessive use of the possessive suffix of the third person singular are the most important strategies for marking definiteness. All types of references, however, contain large numbers of unmarked noun phrases, showing that context is often the decisive factor in deciding whether a noun phrase is to be interpreted as definite or indefinite.