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Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language$
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Friederike Moltmann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608744

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608744.001.0001

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Reference to Universals and Plural Reference to Particulars

Reference to Universals and Plural Reference to Particulars

Chapter:
(p.5) 1 Reference to Universals and Plural Reference to Particulars
Source:
Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language
Author(s):

Friederike Moltmann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608744.003.0002

This chapter deals with (apparent) reference to universals. A common view is that terms like wisdom and the property of being wise both refer to abstract objects. There is a range of linguistic evidence, however, that this view is mistaken. Bare adjective nominalizations like wisdom have the status of kind terms and as such are best considered terms plurally referring to the various instances. Only the property of being wise is a term referring to an abstract property, but as such it is best viewed as a term that introduces a property on the basis of a corresponding predicate. This chapter also gives an introduction to plural reference and discusses parallels between plural terms and kind terms.

Keywords:   universals, properties, tropes, plural reference, plurals, kinds, kind terms, bare mass nouns, adjective nominalizations

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