Evidence for mass and count in Inuttut
While it is clear that some languages have a grammatical mass/count distinction (e.g. English), in other languages (e.g. Inuktitut) it is not so obvious. In this paper, I show that Inuttut (Labrador Inuktitut) has a subtle grammatical mass/count distinction: while number, numerals, and most quantifiers do not disambiguate between mass and count nouns, in a few places, the morphology or the semantics disambiguates between mass and count. Thus, Inuttut is not a counterexample to Doetjes (1997) or Chierchia (2010), who both argue that all languages distinguish between mass and count. I further argue against Borer (2005) who claims all nouns in all languages are underlyingly neutral, and are assigned mass interpretation by default in the absence of individuation. I show that Inuttut nouns cannot all be underlyingly neutral and/or mass by default. Keywords: mass; count; classifiers; Inuktitut; number; numerals; quantifiers
Published online: 26 August 2013
Cited by 6 other publications
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