Bare Plurals as Plural Indefinite Noun Phrases

  • Brendan S. Gillon
Part of the Studies in Cognitive Systems book series (COGS, volume 5)


An English noun phrase whose head noun is a count noun usually occurs with a determiner. Examples of such a noun phrase are found in the subject position of each of these sentences:
  1. a.

    The desk is made of wood.

  2. b.

    A friend just arrived from Montevideo.

  3. c.

    This cup is fragile.

Such noun phrases in the singular are not permitted to appear without a determiner.


Noun Phrase Relative Clause Head Noun Plural Form Count Noun 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abbott, J. Sets, Lattices, and Boolean Algebras, Allyn and Bacon, 1969.Google Scholar
  2. Alston, W. Philosophy of Language, Prentice—Hall, 1964.Google Scholar
  3. Baldwin, J.ed. Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, Macmillan, 1901.Google Scholar
  4. Bauerle, T., Schwarze, C., and A. von Stechow, eds. Meaning, Use, and Interpretation of Language, De Gruyter, 1983.Google Scholar
  5. Ballmer, T., and M. Pinkal, eds. Approaching Vagueness, Elsevier, 1983.Google Scholar
  6. Black, M. “Vagueness,” Philosophy of Science 4, 4, pp. 427–455, 1937.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carlson, G. “A unified analysis of the English bare plural,” Linguistics and Philosophy 1, pp. 413–457, 1977.Google Scholar
  8. Carlson, G. References to Kinds in English, University of Massachusetts, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, 1977.Google Scholar
  9. Carlson, L. Plural Quantification, MIT, unpublished manuscript, 1980.Google Scholar
  10. Chastain, C. “Reference and context,” Language, Mind, and Knowledge, Gunderson, K., ed., pp. 194–269, University of Minnesota Press, 1975.Google Scholar
  11. Chomsky, N. Lectures on Government and Binding: The Pisa Lectures, Foris, 1982.Google Scholar
  12. Copi, I. Introduction to Logic, Macmillan, 1982zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  13. Fodor, J., and I. Sag. “Referential and quantificational indefinites,” Linguistics and Philosophy 5, pp. 335–398, 1982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gillon, B. The Logical Form of Plurality and Quantification in Natural Language, MIT, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, 1984.Google Scholar
  15. Gillon, B. “The readings of plural noun phrases in English,” Linguistics and Philosophy 10, pp. 199–200, 1987.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gunderson, K., ed. Language, Mind, and Knowledge, University of Minnesota Press, 1975.Google Scholar
  17. Heim, I., Lannik, H., and R. May. “Reciprocity and plurality,” Essays on Logical Form, May, R., ed., unpublished manuscript, 1988.Google Scholar
  18. Higginbotham, J. “Reciprocal interpretation,” Linguistic Research 3, 1, pp. 97–117, 1981.Google Scholar
  19. Higginbotham, J. “LF, binding, and nominals,” Linguistic Inquiry 14, 3, pp. 395–420, 1983.Google Scholar
  20. Hoeksema, J. “Plurality and conjunction,” Studies in Model Theoretic Semantics, ter Meulen, ed., pp. 63–83, 1983.Google Scholar
  21. Hornstein, N. Logic as Grammar, MIT Press, 1984.Google Scholar
  22. Ioup, G. “Specificity and the interpretation of quantifiers,” Linguistics and Philosophy 1, pp. 233–245, 1977.Google Scholar
  23. Jesperson, O. A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles George Allen and Unwin, 1909.Google Scholar
  24. Jesperson, O. The Philosophy of Grammar, George Allen and Unwin, 1924.Google Scholar
  25. Kempson, R. Semantic Theory Cambridge University Press 1977 Google Scholar
  26. Kempson, R., and A. Cormack. “Ambiguity and quantification,” Linguis­tics and Philosophy 4, pp. 259–310, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Keynes, J. Studies and Exercises in Formal Logic,Macmillan, 1884.Google Scholar
  28. Kroch, A. The Semantics of Scope, MIT, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, 1974.Google Scholar
  29. Langendoen, D. “The logic of reciprocity,” Linguistic Inquiry 9,2, pp 177–197, 1978.Google Scholar
  30. LePore, E., ed. New Directions in Semantics, Academic Press, 1987.Google Scholar
  31. Link, G. “The logical analysis of plurals and mass terms: a lattice-theoretic approach,” Meaning, Use, and Interpretation of Language, Bauerle, T., Schwarze, C., and A. von Stechow, eds. pp. 302–323, De Gruyter, 1983.Google Scholar
  32. Link, G. “Pural,” Handbook of Semantics, D. Wunderlich and C. Schwarze, eds., to appear.Google Scholar
  33. Lyons,J. Semantics,Cambridge University Press, 1977.Google Scholar
  34. Massey, G. “Tom, Dick, and Harry, and all the king’s men,” American Philosophical Quarterly 13, 2, pp. 89–108, 1976.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  35. May, R. The Grammar of Quantification, MIT, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, 1977.Google Scholar
  36. May, R., ed. Essays on Logical Form, unpublished manuscript, 1988.Google Scholar
  37. Peirce, C. “Vague,” Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology volume 2, Baldwin, J., ed., p. 748, Macmillan, 1901.Google Scholar
  38. Pelletier, F., and L. Schubert. Three Papers on the Logical Form of Mass Terms, Generics, Bare Plurals,and Habituais, University of Alberta, Department of Computing Science: Technical Report (TR 87–3), 1987.Google Scholar
  39. Quine, W. V. “Quantifiers and propositional attitudes,” The Journal of Philosophy 53, 5, pp. 177–187, 1956.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Quine, W. V. The Ways of Paradox, Random House, 1966.Google Scholar
  41. Roberts, C. Modal Subordination,Anaphora, and Distributivity, Univer­sity of Massachusetts, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, 1987.Google Scholar
  42. Schubert, L., and F. Pelletier. “Problems in the representation of the log­ical form of generics, plurals, and mass nouns,” New Directions in Semantics,LePore, E., ed. pp. 387–453, Academic Press, 1987.Google Scholar
  43. Short, D., tr. Problems of Semantics: A Contribution to the Analysis of the Language of Science, Reidel, Translation from Czech of Tondl (1966) 2nd ed., 1981.Google Scholar
  44. ter Meulen, A., ed. Studies in Model Theoretic Semantics, Foris, 1983.Google Scholar
  45. Tondi, L. Problemy Semantity, English translation by Short, tr., 1966.Google Scholar
  46. Ware, R. “Conjunction, plurality, and aggregate particulars,” University of Zimbabwe, unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  47. Wilson, G. “On definite and indefinite descriptions,” The Philosophical Review 87, 1, pp. 48–76, 1978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wilson, R. Introduction to Graph Theory, Longman Group, 2nd ed. 1979, 1972.Google Scholar
  49. Wunderlich, D. and C. Schwarze., eds. Handbook of Semantics, to appear 1984.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brendan S. Gillon

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations