TY - GEN

T1 - The semantics of count nouns

AU - Rothstein, Susan

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - We offer an account of the semantics of count nouns based on the observation that for some count nouns, the set of atoms in the denotation of the singular predicate is contextually determined. The denotation of singular count nouns is derived relative to a context k, where k is a set of entities which count as atoms in a particular context. An operation COUNTk applies to the mass noun denotation and derives the count meaning: a set of ordered pairs where d is a member of N ∩ k and k is the context relative to which d counts as one. Count nouns and mass nouns are thus typally distinct and the grammatical differences between them follow from this. We distinguish between naturally atomic predicates, which denote sets of inherently individuable entities or Boolean algebras generated from such sets, and semantically atomic predicates, which denote sets which are atomic relative to a particular context k. This distinction is orthogonal to the mass count distinction.

AB - We offer an account of the semantics of count nouns based on the observation that for some count nouns, the set of atoms in the denotation of the singular predicate is contextually determined. The denotation of singular count nouns is derived relative to a context k, where k is a set of entities which count as atoms in a particular context. An operation COUNTk applies to the mass noun denotation and derives the count meaning: a set of ordered pairs where d is a member of N ∩ k and k is the context relative to which d counts as one. Count nouns and mass nouns are thus typally distinct and the grammatical differences between them follow from this. We distinguish between naturally atomic predicates, which denote sets of inherently individuable entities or Boolean algebras generated from such sets, and semantically atomic predicates, which denote sets which are atomic relative to a particular context k. This distinction is orthogonal to the mass count distinction.

KW - atomicity

KW - counting

KW - homogeneity

KW - mass/count distinction

KW - measuring

KW - nominal interpretations

KW - semantics of number

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77958480161&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/978-3-642-14287-1_40

DO - 10.1007/978-3-642-14287-1_40

M3 - ???researchoutput.researchoutputtypes.contributiontobookanthology.conference???

AN - SCOPUS:77958480161

SN - 3642142869

SN - 9783642142864

T3 - Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)

SP - 395

EP - 404

BT - Logic, Language and Meaning - 17th Amsterdam Colloquium, Revised Selected Papers

T2 - 17th Amsterdam Colloquium on Logic, Language and Meaning

Y2 - 16 December 2009 through 18 December 2009

ER -