Chapter published in:Mass and Count in Linguistics, Philosophy, and Cognitive Science
Edited by Friederike Moltmann
[Language Faculty and Beyond 16] 2020
► pp. 141–158
Comparatives in Brazilian Portuguese
Counting and measuring
Comparatives in Brazilian Portuguese show that Bale and Barner’s (2009) generalizations do not hold cross-linguistically; this leads to reconsidering the role of cardinality in mass and count syntax. The paper discusses contrasts in the use of naturally atomic, or object, mass nouns in Brazilian Portuguese and English. Brazilian Portuguese has a productive bare singular, which is analysed, following Pires de Oliveira and Rothstein (2011) as an object mass noun with a count counterpart. However, in comparative constructions it does not behave as Bale and Barner predict. We give an account of the relation between counting and measuring which explains the data and we show, using data from Hungarian, that the contrasts with English are not unique to Brazilian Portuguese.
- 1. Bale and Barner (2009)
- 2.Brazilian Portuguese bare singular
- 3.Naturally atomic (object) mass nouns in English
- 4. Hungarian
- 5.Theoretical analysis
- 6.Flexible nouns: English and Brazilian Portuguese
Published online: 17 December 2020
Bale, A., & Barner, D.
Barner, D., & Snedeker, J.
Grimm, S., & Levin, B.
(2012) ‘Who has more furniture?’ An exploration of the bases for comparison. Paper presented at the Paris Colloquium on Mass/Count in Linguistics, Philosophy and Cognitive Science. École Normale Supérieure , Paris, December 20–21, 2012.
Li, X., & Rothstein, S.
(2014) On the grammar of individuation and counting (Ph. D. Dissertation). UMass Amherst.
Pires de Oliveira, R., & Rothstein, S.
Pires de Oliveira, R., & Mendes de Souza, L.
to appear). Counting, measuring and approximation. In H. Filip (Ed.) Counting and measuring in natural language Cambridge Cambridge University Press
Schmitt, C., & Munn, A.
(1999) Against the nominal mapping parameter: bare nouns in Brazilian Portuguese. Proceedings of NELS 29 .
Schvarcz, B., & Rothstein, S.