Article published in:Lexical plurals and beyond
Edited by Peter Lauwers and Marie Lammert
[Lingvisticæ Investigationes 39:2] 2016
► pp. 217–233
Structures for plurals
This paper presents a hypothesis about the innermost structure of noun phrases, which aims at explaining the interaction of number and countability in nouns. This is based on a constructionist approach which views nouns as substructures of the noun phrase, and word formation and inflection as the morphological spellout of structures assembled and interpreted at an abstract syntactic level. It argues that nouns fundamentally identify entity types, and the rest of the DP specifies their denotation in part-structural and quantificational terms. This provides the framework for a new unified analysis of nouns like furniture, waters, and contents, where number and countability interact in a non-canonical way, which accounts for their morphology and their semantics.
Keywords: morphology, semantics, number, nouns, lexical plurals, countability
Published online: 30 March 2017
Borik, O. & M. T. Espinal
(2012) Non-Number plurals. Ms., Rutgers University. Available at www.hlp.rochester.edu/~lbutler/butler2012nels.pdf
(2013) Apportionment and the mass-count distinction in Nez Perce. Ms., University of California at Santa Cruz. Available at http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/~ardeal/papers/Deal-mass-count.pdf
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