The main contribution of the current response to Hankamer & Mikkelsen (2021; H&M) is a clarification of the meaning of the definite article the in out-of-the-blue occurrences of English light verb constructions, such as make the claim. While H&M view these as purely uniqueness-requiring determiners (as opposed to purely anaphoric ones in non-light verb constructions), we propose to classify them instead as instances of Carlsonian weak definites (e.g., Carlson et al. 2006, Aguilar-Guevara 2014, Klein et al. 2013, Schwarz 2014), which presuppose neither uniqueness nor anaphoricity. Such a clarification has further implications for H&M’s proposal—in particular, it casts doubt on their idea that the D in light verb constructions selects the descriptive CP, which serves to uniquely specify the intended referent. Additionally, we present some cross-linguistic data (from the Dravidian language, Kannada), that also serves to question the relationship between D and CP claimed in H&M. On the basis of these arguments, we conclude that D does not directly select the CP in light verb constructions. Nevertheless, we observe that these CPs do empirically behave like syntactically selected complements, and suggest that this is by virtue of the light verb construction taken together—that is, the light verb + the weak definite nominal—whose complement selection properties altogether parallel that of the corresponding lexical verbs. We propose a compositional analysis that reinforces this conclusion.

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