A unified analysis of the English bare plural
- Greg N. Carlson
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
It is argued that the English ‘bare plural’ (an NP with plural head that lacks a determiner), in spite of its apparently diverse possibilities of interpretation, is optimally represented in the grammar as a unified phenomenon. The chief distinction to be dealt with is that between the ‘generic’ use of the bare plural (as in ‘Dogs bark’) and its existential or ‘indefinite plural’ use (as in ‘He threw oranges at Alice’). The difference between these uses is not to be accounted for by an ambiguity in the NP itself, but rather by explicating how the context of the sentence acts on the bare plural to give rise to this distinction. A brief analysis is sketched in which bare plurals are treated in all instances as proper names of kinds of things. A subsidiary argument is that the null determiner is not to be regarded as the plural of the indefinite article a.
- Bennett, Michael: 1975, Some Extensions of a Montague Fragment of English, UCLA Ph.D. Dissertation reproduced by the Indiana Linguistics Club.
- Bennett, Michael and Barbara H. Partee: 1972, ‘Toward the Logic of Tense and Aspect in English’, ms.
- Burton-Roberts, Noel: 1976, ‘On the Generic Indefinite Article’, Language 52, 2, pp. 427–448.
- Carlson, Greg N.: 1973, ‘Superficially Unquantified Plural Count Noun Phrases in English’, U. of Iowa M. A. Thesis, unpublished.
- Cartwright, Helen: 1965, ‘Heraclitus and the Bathwater’, Philosophical Review 74, pp. 466–485.
- Cartwright, Helen: 1975, ‘Some Remarks on Mass Nouns and Plurality’, Synthese 31, pp. 395–410.
- Chomsky, Noam: 1965, Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, MIT Press.
- Chomsky, Noam: 1975, ‘Questions of Form and Interpretation’, Linguistic Analysis 1, 1.
- Dahl, Östen: 1975, ‘On Generics’, in Keenan ed. Formal Semantics of Natural Language, Cambridge University Press.
- Delorme, Evelyn and Ray, Dougherty: 1972, ‘Appositive NP Constructions’, Foundations of Language 8, 1.
- Dowty, David R.: 1972, Studies in the Logic of Verb Aspect and Time Reference in English, Ph.D. dissertation, U. of Texas at Austin. Published in Studies in Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin.
- Gough, JamesJr.: 1969, ‘The Syntax-Based Semantics of the English Determiners a, the, and ϕ, Papers in Linguistics 1 1.
- Lawler, John: 1972, ‘Generic to a Fault’, Papers from the Eighth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. Ed. Parenteau et al. CLS.
- Lewis, David: 1975, ‘Adverbs of Quantification’, in Keenan, ed. Formal Semantics of Natural Language, Cambridge University Press.
- McCawley, James D.: 1970, ‘Where Do Noun Phrases Come From?’ in ed. Jacobs and Rosenbaum, Readings in English Transformation Grammar, Ginn and Co. Waltham, Mass.
- Milsark Gary: 1974, ‘Existential Sentences in English’, unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, MIT.
- Montague, Richard: 1972, ‘The Proper Treatment of Quantification in Ordinary English’, in Thomason, ed. (1974) Formal Philosophy: the Selected Papers of Richard Montague, New Haven: Yale University Press.
- Parsons, Terence: 1970, ‘An Analysis of Mass and Amount Terms’, Foundations of Language 6, 363–388.
- Partee, Barbara H.: 1970, ‘Opacity, Coreference, and Pronouns’, Synthese 21.
- Partee, Barbara H.: 1975, ‘Deletion and Variable Binding’, in Keenen, ed. Semantics of Natural Language, Cambridge University Press.
- Perlmutter, David: 1970, ‘On the Article in English’, in Bierwisch and Heidolph, eds. Progress in Linguistics.
- Postal, Paul: 1969, ‘Anaphoric Islands’, in Binnick et al. Papers from the Fifth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. CLS.
- Quine, W. V. O.: 1960, Word and Object, MIT Press.
- Schachter, Paul: 1976, ‘A Nontransformational Account of Gerundive Nominals in English’, Linguistic Inquiry 7, 2.
- Siegel, Mufft E. A.: 1976, ‘Capturing the Adjective’, unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
- Smith, Carlotta: 1964, ‘Determiners and Relative Clauses in a Generative Grammar of English’, Language 40, 1.
- Stockwell, Robert P., P. Schachter, and B. H. Partee: 1973, The Major Syntactic Structures of English, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, New York.
- Sweet, Henry: 1898, A New English Grammar, Oxford.
- Zemach, Eddy: 1975, ‘On the Adequacy a Type Ontology’, Synthese 31, pp. 509–515.
- A unified analysis of the English bare plural
Linguistics and Philosophy
Volume 1, Issue 3 , pp 413-457
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Greg N. Carlson (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. South College, University of Massachusetts, USA