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Gather/numerous as a mass/count opposition

Abstract : Predicates like gather and be numerous have both been described as 'collective predicates,' since they predicate something of a plurality. The two classes of predicates differ, however, with respect to plural quantifiers (e.g. all), which are grammatical with gather-type predicates but ungrammatical with numerous-type predicates. Here, I show that the gather/numerous opposition derives from mereological properties that are familiar from the domains of telicity and mass/count. I address problems of undergeneration and overgeneration with two technical innovations: first, I weaken the property of divisibility to Champollion's (2015) property of stratified reference; second, I provide mechanisms to rule out accidental satisfaction of the logical property. From a broader perspective, we place collective predication in a larger context by building empirical connections to mass/count and collectivity across semantic domains.
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https://jeannicod.ccsd.cnrs.fr/ijn_03053115
Contributor : Jeremy Kuhn <>
Submitted on : Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 9:04:31 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:58:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, March 11, 2021 - 9:13:35 PM

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Jeremy Kuhn. Gather/numerous as a mass/count opposition. Natural Language Semantics, Springer Verlag, 2020, 28 (3), pp.225-253. ⟨10.1007/s11050-020-09163-x⟩. ⟨ijn_03053115⟩

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