David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Linguistics and Philosophy 15 (6):597 - 639 (1992)
English mass noun phrases & count noun phrases differ only minimally grammatically. The basis for the difference is ascribed to a difference in the features +/-CT. These features serve the morphosyntactic function of determining the available options for the assigment of grammatical number, itself determined by the features +/-PL: +CT places no restriction on the available options, while -CT, in the unmarked case, restricts the available options to -PL. They also serve the semantic function of determining the sort of denotation associated with demonstrative & quantified noun phrases. The feature -CT requires that the associated denotation be the set whose sole member is the greatest aggregate of which the noun phrase or noun is true; the feature +CT requires that the associated denotation be the set whose members are all & only those minimal aggregates of which the noun phrase or noun is true. At the same time, neither mass NPs nor count NPs that are arguments of a predicate have their predicate evaluated with respect to their denotations. Rather, the predicate is evaluated with respect to an aggregation, a set of aggregates constructed from the denotation of the noun phrase that is an argument of the predicate. 3 Tables, 4 Figures, 74 References. AA
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References found in this work BETA
Willard Van Orman Quine, Patricia Smith Churchland & Dagfinn Føllesdal (2013). Word and Object. The MIT Press.
Irving M. Copi (2008). Introduction to Logic. Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Peter M. Simons (1987/2000). Parts: A Study in Ontology. Oxford University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
Øystein Linnebo & David Nicolas (2008). Superplurals in English. Analysis 68 (299):186–197.
David Nicolas (2008). Mass Nouns and Plural Logic. Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2):211-244.
Gennaro Chierchia (2010). Mass Nouns, Vagueness and Semantic Variation. Synthese 174 (1):99 - 149.
David Barner & Jesse Snedeker (2005). Quantity Judgments and Individuation: Evidence That Mass Nouns Count. Cognition 97 (1):41-66.
A. C. Bale & D. Barner (2009). The Interpretation of Functional Heads: Using Comparatives to Explore the Mass/Count Distinction. Journal of Semantics 26 (3):217-252.
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