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Is there anything characteristic about the meaning of a count noun?

Abstract : Count nouns are a morphosyntactic subclass of common nouns (Gillon 1992). They can be used with the determiners "one" and "several", but not with "much" and "little"; they admit singular and plural number. Count nouns apply to individuals of extremely diverse types. Thus the question we address in this paper: is there anything characteristic to the meanings of count nouns? It is comparable in intent to: can one give a purely semantic definition of verbs? Four proposals have been discussed in the literature: proposals involving internal structure, atomic reference, boundedness and countability. We consider them in turn. Our strategy will be to show that these are not necessary conditions for a common noun to be a count noun. This will lead us to a different type of answer to the question of what is common to the meanings of count nouns.
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Contributor : David Nicolas <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 25, 2002 - 9:46:39 AM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:58:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, April 3, 2010 - 8:05:47 PM


  • HAL Id : ijn_00000035, version 1



David Nicolas. Is there anything characteristic about the meaning of a count noun?. Revue de la lexicologie (Tunis), 2002, 18-19. ⟨ijn_00000035⟩



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