, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 173-202,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 04 Oct 2011

A morphosyntactic decomposition of countability in Germanic

Abstract

This paper contributes to our understanding of countability in two ways. First, I derive the various mass and count readings from the interaction between two syntactic features, viz. [Div] (which creates countable items, cf. Borer 2005) and [Size] (which creates units). Second, I show how crosslinguistic variation in the expression of countability can be reduced to whether [Div] and [Size] each head their own projection or are combined on a single syntactic head (cf. Thráinsson 1996; Bobaljik and Thráinsson, Syntax, 1: 37-71, 1998). Finally, I discuss the various Germanic morphemes that can realize the [Size] feature.