David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Noûs 35 (s15):291 - 333 (2001)
Though these expressions are often called “names of months”, there is good reason to hold that they are not names at all. Syntactically, these words behave as count nouns. They combine with determiners such as ‘every’, ‘many’, ‘exactly three’ etc. to form restricted quantifiers:3 (1) Every January I go skiing. (2) I spent many Januarys at Squaw Valley. (3) I wasted exactly three Januarys in Bakersfield. Like other count nouns, they can take relative clauses in constructions such as (1)-(3): (1a) Every January that you visited we went skiing. (2a) I spent many Januarys that I will never forget at Squaw Valley. (3a) I wasted three Januarys that seemed interminable in Bakersfield. They also combine with the copula, indefinite article and adjectival modifiers to form predicates in the way that other count nouns do: (4) The first full month I lived in Northern California was a pleasant July. Further, it is generally held that only constituents of the same syntactic category can be conjoined. And as the following example shows, ‘January’ can be conjoined with other count nouns:4 (5) All Januarys and funerals last too long. Thus distributional evidence strongly suggests that ‘January’, ‘February’, etc. are count nouns. Since in general we take count nouns to express properties, we ought to take ‘January’, ‘February’ etc. to express properties as well.5 We shall return to the question of what properties such words express below. For now, we shall stick with syntax
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Brendan S. Gillon (1992). Towards a Common Semantics for English Count and Mass Nouns. Linguistics and Philosophy 15 (6):597 - 639.
H. W. Noonan (1978). Count Nouns and Mass Nouns. Analysis 38 (4):167 - 172.
D. Geoffrey Hall (2009). Proper Names in Early Word Learning: Rethinking a Theoretical Account of Lexical Development. Mind and Language 24 (4):404-432.
Nino Cocchiarella (2009). Mass Nouns in a Logic of Classes as Many. Journal of Philosophical Logic 38 (3):343 - 361.
Roger Schwarzschild, Stubborn Distributivity, Multiparticipant Nouns and the Count/Mass Distinction.
Henry Laycock (2006). Variables, Generality and Existence. In Paulo Valore (ed.), Topics on General and Formal Ontology. Polimetrica. 27.
Henry Laycock (2005). 'Mass Nouns, Count Nouns and Non-Count Nouns'. In Alex Barber (ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Elsevier.
Added to index2010-08-10
Total downloads8 ( #186,778 of 1,413,120 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #93,526 of 1,413,120 )
How can I increase my downloads?