Chapter published in:Mass and Count in Linguistics, Philosophy, and Cognitive Science
Edited by Friederike Moltmann
[Language Faculty and Beyond 16] 2020
► pp. 141–157
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.
Keywords: semantics, comparatives, bare singulars, measuring, counting, Brazilian Portuguese
Published online: 17 December 2020
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