Names and the Mass-Count Distinction

Friederike Moltmann
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
This paper reviews the role of sortals in the syntax and semantics of proper names and the related question of a mass-count distinction among proper names. The paper argues that sortals play a significant role with proper names and that that role matches individuating or ‘sortal’ classifiers in languages lacking a mass-count distinction. Proper names do not themselves classify as count, but may classify as mass or rather number-neutral. This also holds for other expressions or uses of expressions that lack a syntactic mass-count distinction, namely that-clauses, predicative phrases, intensional NPs, quotations, as well as verbs with respect to their event arguments. In all those cases, the relevant diagnostics show a number-neutral status, rather than a division into mass and count. This is remarkable because it means that count status is independent of the nature of the semantic values of an expression or its conceptual content. It also means that even languages such as English or German are classifier languages when it comes to expressions or uses of expressions to which a syntactic mass-count distinction is inapplicable.
Keywords proper names  quotation  mass count
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rigidity and De Jure Rigidity.Mark Textor - 1998 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):45-59.
On the Linguistic Complexity of Proper Names.Ora Matushansky - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (5):573-627.
Counting and the Mass/Count Distinction.S. Rothstein - 2010 - Journal of Semantics 27 (3):343-397.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
311 ( #14,082 of 2,301,533 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
20 ( #23,510 of 2,301,533 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature