Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Gast, Volker

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.066

CiteScore 2018: 0.97

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.384
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.409

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 43, Issue 2


On Mass Denotations of Bare Nouns in Japanese and Korean

Naoko Nemoto
Published Online: 2005-07-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.2005.43.2.383


The present work explores the nature of bare nominal arguments in Japanese and Korean in conjunction with Chierchia's (1998a) nominal mapping parameter. The nominal mapping parameter categorizes Japanese and Korean as NP [+argument, −predicate] languages. His theory predicts that Japanese and Korean bare nouns denote kinds and come out of the lexicon with mass denotations. In the present work, I will discuss the following two crucial differences between conventional mass nouns like the English furniture and Japanese/Korean bare nominal arguments. First, although conventional mass nouns do not get pluralized, Japanese and Korean bare nouns do. Second, bare mass nouns cannot refer to specific individuals, but Japanese and Korean bare nominal arguments can. I will investigate what modification is necessary in order to accommodate these non-mass-like characteristics of Japanese and Korean bare nominal arguments to Chierchia's (1998a, 1998b) theory. I will demonstrate that Japanese and Korean plural nouns do not appear in generic/kind-predication sentences and that Japanese and Korean anaphoric bare nominal arguments are not necessarily number neutral. Given these observations, I will argue that only kind-referring expressions are true bare NPs and denote mass. Non-kind-referring arguments will project the higher projections like DP (determiner phrase) or Cl(assifier)P, and DP and ClP will trigger the mass to count denotation shift.

About the article

Correspondence address: Asian Studies Program, Mount Holyoke College, 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA 01075-6454, USA. E-mail: .

Received: 5 December 2001

Revised: 18 June 2003

Published Online: 2005-07-27

Published in Print: 2005-03-11

Citation Information: Linguistics, Volume 43, Issue 2, Pages 383–413, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.2005.43.2.383.

Export Citation

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Sea Hee Choi, Tania Ionin, and Yeqiu Zhu
Second Language Research, 2017, Page 026765831771758
Eunji Lee and Donna Lardiere
Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 2017
Eun-Joo Kwak
Journal of Universal Language, 2012, Volume 13, Number 1, Page 101
Eun-joo Kwak
Journal of Universal Language, 2010, Volume 11, Number 2, Page 179
Holger Hopp, Sun Hee Hwang, and Donna Lardiere
Second Language Research, 2013, Volume 29, Number 1, Page 57
Chuansheng He and Yan Jiang
Lingua, 2011, Volume 121, Number 5, Page 890
Tania Ionin and Silvina Montrul
Language Learning, 2010, Volume 60, Number 4, Page 877

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in