Bare nouns and number

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Abstract

Bare nouns are noun phrases with a common noun lacking an overt determiner. Depending on the theoretical framework at hand, and the syntax-semantics interface adopted, they are analyzed as NPs, NumPs or DPs with an empty (null) D. No information on singular/plural, mass/count, definite/indefinite reference can be derived from the determiner if there is none (in overt syntax, at least), so bare nouns raise challenges to syntactic theory as well as compositional semantics. Much of the literature zooms in on the implications of a missing/covert D, but this chapter places special emphasis on syntactic and semantic number in bare nouns.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Grammatical Number
EditorsPatricia Cabredo Hofherr, Jenny Doetjes
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter9
Pages197-219
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9780198795858
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2021

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