This study presents an analysis of the semantics of the Persian object marker –râ. Semantically, –râ has been identified with definiteness marking (Sadeghi, 1970; Vazinpour, 1977), specificity marking (Browne, 1970; Karimi, 1989, 1990, 1996, 2003a, and 2005) and presupposition marking (Ghomeshi, 1996; Ganjavi, 2007). In this study, I challenge the assumptions presented in previous works and argue that while definiteness, specificity and presupposition capture important aspects of the meaning of –râ, none of them adequately characterize its semantics. Specifically, I argue that a unified
account can be given if we assume that –râ is a maximality operator which picks out the maximal member of the denotation of its argument following Link (1983) and Beck and Rullmann (1999). The maximality proposal can account for the appearance of –râ on question words, contrastive topics, donkey sentences, plurals and indefinites which have remained unexplained in previous accounts of –râ.