Chapter published in:Mass and Count in Linguistics, Philosophy, and Cognitive Science
Edited by Friederike Moltmann
[Language Faculty and Beyond 16] 2020
► pp. 37–59
Activewear and other vaguery
A morphological perspective on aggregate-mass
In the literature on the mass-count distinction, some nominals that denote groupings of objects (e.g. English furniture) are known to display hybrid properties, exhibiting syntactic distribution akin to prototypical non-count nominals (substance-denoting, e.g. mud), but showing certain semantic properties associated with plurals. This paper aims to broaden our perspective on the properties of such nouns, focusing on their morphological composition in three languages, English, French, and Hebrew, where nouns of this type are frequently created through specific derivational processes. This systematic derivation suggests that the combination of properties associated with these nouns should not be seen as an idiosyncratic exception to the mass-count distinction, but as a systematic category between the two.
Keywords: aggregates, mass-count, nominalisation, derivation, morphology, English, French, Hebrew
Published online: 17 December 2020
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