Ideas from 'English as a Formal Language' by Richard Montague [1970], by Theme Structure

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5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 2. Descriptions / b. Definite descriptions
'The' is a quantifier, like 'every' and 'a', and does not result in denotation
                        Full Idea: The expression 'The' turns out to play the role of a quantifier, in complete analogy with 'every' and 'a', and does not generate (in common with common noun phrases) denoting expressions
                        From: Richard Montague (English as a Formal Language [1970], p.216), quoted by Bernard Linsky - Quantification and Descriptions 4
                        A reaction: Linsky says that it is now standard to interpret definite descriptions as quantifiers