A measure based analysis of plural mass nouns in Greek

  • Kurt Erbach

Abstract

This paper explores the feasibility of accounting for plural mass nouns in Greek via a measure function that is assumed to be part of the meaning of plural nouns. Such an approach is used to account for the readings of plural count nouns in Krifka (1989, 1995) and Grimm (2013). The characteristics of plural mass nouns in Greek, however, present a particular challenge that cannot be straightforwardly applied to previous measure based analyses. Greek plural mass nouns are used to discuss amounts of a substance, sometimes small and sometimes large, and are accompanied by a particular inference that disappears in certain contexts. These characteristics have been analyzed in a variety of ways (Tsoulas, 2009; Alexiadou, 2011; Chierchia, 2015; Kane et al., 2015; Kouneli, 2019) though never in terms of measurement. I argue that a measure based analysis that incorporates a structure of discourse based on questions under discussion (Grimm, 2013; Roberts, 1996) can account for the characteristics of plural mass nouns in Greek. I build this analysis on the rich, context sensitive lexical structures in Sutton and Filip (2017), as they can straightforwardly accommodate a notion of context-sensitive measurement that can apply to both count and mass nouns in Greek.
Published
2019-07-24
How to Cite
Erbach, K. (2019). A measure based analysis of plural mass nouns in Greek. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 23(1), 413-432. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2019.v23i1.541