Semantic Plurality

English collective nouns and other ways of denoting pluralities of entities

| Université Grenoble Alpes / LIDILEM
ISBN 9789027204738 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027261748 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
This monograph proposes a comparative approach to all the ways of denoting ‘more than one’ entity, from collective and aggregate nouns (with the first-ever typology), to count plurals, partly substantivised adjectives and conjoined NPs. This semantic feature approach to plurality, which cuts across number, the count/non-count distinction, and lexical/NP levels, reveals a very consistent Scale of Unit Integration, which establishes clear-cut boundaries for collective nouns, and accommodates cases such as three elephant, cattle or a chain of islands. The study also offers a refined understanding of aggregate nouns (a category nearly as large as that of collective nouns) and quantification in pseudo-partitives, develops Guillaume’s notion of ‘internal plurality’, and proposes the innovative concept of ‘hyperonyms of plural classes’ (e.g. furniture). The Animacy Hierarchy is also found to be influential, beyond hybrid agreement. The book aims to be accessible to scholars of any theoretical background interested in these topics.
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 349]  2019.  x, 215 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction: Why study semantic plurality and pluralities of entities?
Chapter 2. Hybrid agreement: Motivations, nature and constraints
Chapter 3. Establishing the boundaries of collective nouns for count nouns
Chapter 4. A comparison between NPs headed by count collective nouns and NPs whose /plurality/ feature is acquired in discourse
Chapter 5. Non-count singular nouns with a /plurality/ feature
Chapter 6. Lexical plurals that denote pluralities of entities
Chapter 7. General conclusion
General index
Lexical index


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