Neat Mass Nouns

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Neat mass nouns are interpreted as neat mass i-sets. A neat mass i-set is an i-set with an atomistic base and a disjoint set of base atoms. Section 7.1 discusses two types of neat mass nouns. Group neutral neat mass nouns, like furniture and pottery, are nouns for which the distinction between sums and groups is neutralized. Sum neutral neat mass nouns, like livestock and poultry, are nouns for which the distinction between singular and plural objects itself is neutralized. Section 7.2 links these two types of neat mass nouns to the disjointness notions discussed for count nous in Chap. 6. Sections 7.3 and 7.4 discuss what makes neat mass nouns mass, and what makes neat mass nouns neat, i.e. ways in which neat mass nouns pattern with mess mass nouns and ways in which neat mass nouns pattern with count nouns. We discuss four types of data that together distinguish neat mass nouns semantically from mess mass nouns and from count nouns: Chierchia’s atomicity data for furniture and furniture items; the Dutch individual classifier stuk(s), which cannot apply to mess mass nouns, but can combine with neat mass nouns and count nouns; count and measure comparison, which distinguishes neat mass nouns both from count nouns and mess mass nouns; the interaction between neat mass nouns and distributive adjectives like big. For each of these constructions an Iceberg semantic analysis is formulated.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Linguistics and Philosophy
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Pages189-226
Number of pages38
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Linguistics and Philosophy
Volume105
ISSN (Print)0924-4662
ISSN (Electronic)2215-034X

Keywords

  • Count comparison
  • Distributive adjective
  • Furniture noun
  • Individual classifier
  • Measure comparison
  • Neat mass noun
  • Number neutrality
  • Object mass noun

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