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Gender and Noun Classification$
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Éric Mathieu, Myriam Dali, and Gita Zareikar

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198828105

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198828105.001.0001

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Plural marking on mass nouns

Plural marking on mass nouns

Evidence from Greek

Chapter:
(p.234) 11 Plural marking on mass nouns
Source:
Gender and Noun Classification
Author(s):

Maria Kouneli

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198828105.003.0011

Mass nouns are generally incompatible with plural morphology in number-marking languages. Greek mass nouns, though, can freely pluralize. Chapter 11 shows that the meaning of plural mass nouns in Greek is that of ‘spread over a surface in a disorderly way’. The author argues that plural morphology on mass nouns in the language is the spell-out of number features on the nominalizing head n, unlike plural morphology on count nouns, which spells out the head of the functional projection NumP. She extends this analysis to other languages with plural marking on mass nouns, and argues that plural morphology on mass nouns is never the spellout of features on Num, which can only have the meaning associated with regular plural morphology on count nouns cross-linguistically.

Keywords:   mass nouns, plural morphology, Greek, syntax of number, Distributed Morphology

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