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La Distinction entre Noms Massifs et Noms Comptables. Aspects Linguistiques et Conceptuels

Abstract : This book is devoted to the study of the linguistic distinction between mass nouns ("milk", "furniture", "disorder", "love"...) and count nouns ("cat", "team", "fight", "thing"...). Nouns of the first type are normally invariable, while nouns of the second can be freely used in the singular and the plural. After establishing that this is indeed a morpho-syntactic distinction, the book discusses the possibility of characterizing the distinction semantically. Existing research considers mostly nouns that apply to the material domain. This work, on the contrary, examines in detail both concrete and abstract nouns. It proposes to redefine the properties often attributed to mass nouns (distributive reference and cumulative reference), thanks in particular to a new notion of part. Concerning count nouns, it shows that no purely semantic property is necessary for a noun to be of this type. The book ends with an analysis of conversions (mass uses of count nouns and vice versa) and the role played by pragmatic factors in their interpretation.
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David Nicolas. La Distinction entre Noms Massifs et Noms Comptables. Aspects Linguistiques et Conceptuels. Peeters, 2002, 9789042911840. ⟨ijn_00000618v2⟩

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