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英语语言学动名词属性研究:Mass and count properties of nouns and verbs [4]

论文作者:留学生论文论文属性:案例分析 Case Study登出时间:2011-02-25编辑:anterran点击率:17299

论文字数:4124论文编号:org201102250952223748语种:英语论文 English地区:中国价格:免费论文

关键词:Mass and countpropertiesnouns and verbs

assifier is inserted (cf. also (4)). In the
second place, phrases such as trois enfants ‘three children’ trigger plural
agreement on the verb. In 7.3 it will become clear that this cannot be
attributed to the numeral trois, as there are some cases in Dutch where a
subject containing a cardinal numeral (>1) does not trigger plural. I will
assume that even though French nouns are not overtly marked for Number
they contain a singular or plural feature, as this makes them compatible with
certain Qs including cardinal numerals. With respect to their behaviour in
the context of Qs, French count nouns are similar to the English and
Dutch ones. These issues will play a role in chapter 7.
So far we have seen that there are important distributional differences
between mass nouns, count singulars and count plurals, especially in the
context of quantifiers. Furthermore, there is an overlap in the distribution
of mass nouns and count plurals.
3 Plural morphology on a noun can surface in so-called liaison contexts. In case of
liaison, an otherwise silent word final consonant is pronounced under influence of a following
word starting in a vowel. The plural ending –s of a noun may surface as /z/ if followed by
a modifier starting in a vowel, as in les Etats-Unis /lezetazyni/ ‘the United States’. Liaison
between a plural noun and a subsequent modifier starting in a vowel is not required, and often
absent in colloquial speech. This case of liaison is a property of the plural –s, as a final silent
consonant of a singular noun cannot surface: the -t in un savant agréable /oesavã(*t)agreabl/
cannot be pronounced. Cf. Gougenheim (1938) and Morin & Kaye (1982) for discussion. For
a general overview of liaison, cf. Tranel (1981).
22 CHAPTER 2
2.1.2 Shifts
Nouns can easily shift from a count sense to a mass sense and vice versa.
This section focuses on count-to-mass and mass-to-count shifts, and I will
argue on the basis of the way these shifting processes function that there
must be a lexical distinction between mass and count nouns. As we will see
below count-to-mass shifts follow more or less a regular pattern, while
mass-to-count shifts are quite unpredictable. In both cases there are
examples of nouns that resist shifting, which shows that it cannot be the
case that either all mass nouns are derived through count-to-mass shift or
all count nouns through mass-to-count shift. I will not consider formal
properties of shifts, but see Link (1983) and Landman (1990).
In count-to-mass shifts, a major role is played by the "Universal Grinder"
(this term is due to David Lewis), which turns a count noun into a mass
noun. In principle, any count term that has physical objects in its extension
can be used as a mass term given an appropriate context (cf. Pelletier 1975,
Gleason 1965 and Hoepelman and Rohrer 1981). An example illustrating
this idea due to Gleason (1965) is the following. A mother termite
complains about her son and says:
(9) Johnny is very choosy about his food. He will eat book, but he
won’t touch shelf.
In this example a typical count nouns are used as if they are mass. The
nouns book and shelf correspond here to ‘substance a book/shelf is made of’.
Nouns that do not denote physical objects do not undergo count-to-mass
shift. Examples of nouns that cannot ‘pass through the grinder’ are abstract
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