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I'd appreciate it if someone would answer my question. Thank you in advance.

I'd like to know about the relation between contrastiveness and specificity.

When you say, "I get up early in the morning", and "The sun rises in the east", "the morning" and "the east" are specific parts of a larger generalized whole. So a definite article is chosen (the morning, the east).

I think a larger generalized whole is an upper class, and here it's "a day". And I think the whole is a set of conceptual framework, such as {morning, afternoon, evening}, {day, night}, {spring, summer, autumn, winter}, {north, south, east, west}, {right, left}, and {past, present, future}.

My point in this question is whether or not we see other sets than those above. Let me take an example. The example is of my own making for the above purpose.

A: There are several factors affecting school children's ways of thinking; books, magazines, TV programs, discussions with friends or teachers -----------. Among them the book has long been the major influence on the ways school children think.

In the second sentence in A I used "the book" instead of "books". Is "the book" here appropriately used?

Here, a larger generalized whole is "influences on school children's ways of thinking", and books, magazines, TV programs, discussions with friends or teachers -----are specific parts of a whole. The speaker highlights "the book" among all the parts of a whole.

<Q 2> By the way, when you say "I get up early in the morning", you don't have to clarify a larger generalized whole "the east" is a part of, and other elements (afternoon, evening). I think it's because it's a social commonsense people share that "the east" is a part of a larger generalized whole (here a season), and there are 4 elements in the framework.

However, in A, it isn't people's social commonsense that "the book" is a part of a larger generalized whole (here "influences on school children's ways of thinking"), and there are plural elements in the framework. So I think you have to clarify the existence of a larger generalized whole and the elements (all elements if possible) the whole is made up with, in order for A to be approved of. Am I right?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Jason Bassford, JJJ, Chappo, Edwin Ashworth, K J Jun 15 at 22:56

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    Sure, you can do that. To be consistent with this style, you have not only the book but the magazine, the conversation (?), the television program. All of these vary greatly; a magazine is a great random access device. Is the format the most important part, though? – Xanne May 28 at 9:08
  • Thank you Xanne. – magic-dragon May 29 at 1:22

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