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Linguistics

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

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1613-396X
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Volume 43, Issue 2

Issues

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

Abstract

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.

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