Homogeneity and the Mass/Count Distinction

  • Haitao Cai

Abstract

Predominantly count nouns can have a mass form. The universal grinder proposed by Pelletier (1975) for the semantics of mass forms of predominantly count nouns have been widely adopted. However, I argue that grinding is not part of the semantics; instead, it is an implicature triggered by formal atomlessness encoded in mass forms. This proposal is in accordance with the observation that the mass/count distinction concerns the way nominals refer, rather than the structures of referents. However, the felicity of using the mass form of a predominantly count noun can be influenced by the homogeneity of the referents.
How to Cite
Cai, H. (1). Homogeneity and the Mass/Count Distinction. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 20, 145-161. Retrieved from https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/sub/index.php/sub/article/view/256